Skin Tests

Instructions For Allergy Skin Tests

  1. Please do not overexpose your back or arms to the sun 5-7 days prior to your skin testing. Do not use lotions or creams on your back or arms the morning of skin testing. We will be unable to perform skin testing if you are sunburned or have lotions or creams on your backs or arms.
  2. Please stop all antihistamines (e.g. Claritin, Allegra, Clarinex, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Alavert) for 7-10 days before skin tests.
  3. Please continue all asthma medications prior to skin testing appointment.
  4. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding these medications or other medications you are using.

Skin Tests For Children

We have scheduled your child for a complete allergy workup which probably will include testing. Please take a few minutes before you arrive for your appointment to explain to your child what the testing will consist of. We have found through experience that most children will do well with testing especially if they know what to expect.

Allergy skin testing is done in two parts. The first part is called the prick test. This involves very small skin pricks on the back, done with a device that allows us to administer a very small dose of the antigen under the skin. This is not a needle. It will be necessary for your child to lay reasonably still for approximately 20 minutes. This portion of the test is completed when the technician reads and records the reactions.

The second part to this test is called the intradermal test. It is done by injecting a small amount of antigen into the top layers of skin on the upper arm. This does involve the use of a very small fine needle. There will be some discomfort with this which we feel amounts to a mosquito bite. Your child will need to remain still during this procedure. It maybe be necessary for you to hold your child.

Because each child may react differently to the test, we routinely do one of each type of test on the parent or guardian prior to starting the test on your child. This enables you to appreciate the minimal level of discomfort that is really involved and allows you to approve doing the tests on your child.

Our staff is thoroughly trained and will answer any questions you might have.