If you or your child are interested in pursuing allergy skin testing, it can be helpful to know what to expect ahead of time. Initially, it will require scheduling a new patient consultation to discuss symptoms, past treatments, and medications. At that time, your provider may order skin testing, which you may schedule at check out. Once scheduled, you will receive a packet of information regarding the testing.
It is required to discontinue some medications prior to testing, such as beta-blockers and antihistamine, up to a week ahead of time.
Also, anticipate your testing to take approximately 90-minutes.
After arrival and check in for your scheduled skin test, a member of our allergy team will come to get you. The appointment will start with a short and quick breathing test called spirometry. This test measures if you have enough lung function to proceed with testing.
After you have passed your breathing test, we move onto actual allergy testing. We utilize two different testing methods to accurately diagnose allergies:
1. Prick testing is performed first. This involves putting liquid allergy formulations on the skin and pressing them firmly into the top layers of the skin with a small plastic device. This is generally performed on the forearms, but may be done on the back or thighs for a smaller child.
2. Intradermal testing is performed second. This requires a minimal amount of allergen extract to be injected under the skin to test for further reaction. If you or your child reacts to one of the allergens, your skin will respond with minor swelling, redness and itching.
Your allergy skin test may include testing for many different types of allergens, including:
- Environmental allergens: dust mites, pets, tree pollens, weeds, grasses, and more
- Food allergens: eggs, milk, soy, peanut, and others
- Penicillin formulations
After testing, your allergy team will provide you with your results and treatment options, including subcutaneous immunotherapy or sublingual immunotherapy. A return follow up with a provider will be scheduled as well to discuss your results and treatment options in detail.