What is an allergy skin testing?
Patients who are allergic frequently experience “allergy symptoms” such as stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, sinus pain and pressure, wheezing and hives. Allergy skin testing enables the doctor to see exactly what you are allergic to allowing them to make recommendations to treat your specific allergies.
What am I being tested for?
You will be tested for a variety of allergens including; dust mites, tree pollen, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, animal dander, and foods.
How is the allergy skin testing performed?
It is performed by “scratch testing” or percutaneous testing. Percutaneous testing involves a small “scratch” on the skin, as a drop of the allergen is applied. Once the testing is performed, the results are obtained within several minutes to determine exactly what you are allergic to.
Does the testing hurt?
Skin testing can cause some discomfort, but is not painful. A tiny comb gently scratches or abrades the skin surface. After the test is performed, it takes about 15 minutes to develop. A positive test will appear as a raised, red bump on the skin, similar to a mosquito bite.
How long does the allergy testing take?
The testing takes approximately 30 minutes – 15 minutes to administer and 15 minutes to register the results – so you don’t have to wait long to learn the cause of your allergies.
Who can be tested?
Adults and children over age 2 can be tested. It is not recommended that patients with a history of severe anaphylactic reactions or those who are severe asthmatics be tested. Moderate asthmatics who are unmanaged by medications and pregnant or breast feeding women should also not be tested. For these individuals, a blood test is safer.
Is there anything I have to do to prepare for my testing appointment?
Yes, you will need to avoid taking any antihistamines for 5 days prior to your appointment. Please inform the nurse of any medications you are taking when you make your appointment. You will be advised if there are any other medications to avoid before your appointment.
Benefits to Patients
Improved quality of life
Treat the cause of allergic disease, rather than just masking allergy symptoms
Enable most patients to alleviate their allergy suffering permanently
Patients will no longer have to endure the unpleasant side-effects of allergy medication
Will not have to miss work due to their allergies
Patients will save thousands of dollars