Allergy Test (Skin Test)
- You should avoid all OTC cold/flu or allergy medications one week or at least 5 days before allergy skin testing to avoid interfering with the test.
- For a complete list of medications to avoid, please click here
Allergy skin test is used to detect if you are sensitized to or allergic to certain allergens so your physician can formulate an effective treatment to your allergy / sinus, asthma, eczema and other allergy related diseases like many of the types of chronic urticaria. At Texas Allergy, we test for common regional environmental allergens including pollens, grasses, weeds, molds, and indoor allergens like cats, dogs, dustmites, cockroach, rodent, and other cattle allergens. In general, you are exposed to high tree pollen concentration in the Spring, grass in the Summer, and weed pollens in the Fall season. Mold spores and indoor allergens like cat/dog/dust mites are all year-round allergens. Depending on indications, we also test for foods, insects, drugs and other allergens. Skin test is done by pricking the skin in the back or forearm with a small plastic device containing specific allergens to challenge the allergy cells living in your skin. The prick site will develop a small mosquito-like wheel if you are allergic to that allergen. Sometimes, your physician might proceed with a second intradermal allergy test if the first test is negative. In this type of test, a small amount of allergen is injected into your skin to increase sensitivity of the test. Your physician will based on what is seen on the allergy test to formulate a treatment plan. The testing quality is important because allergy cells colonizing in the skin are also colonizing in other organs, especially the nose, sinuses, lower airways and the guts. Thus, the reaction seen on the skin is the indirect visualization of what could occur inside our body when we are exposed to that particular allergen. Skin test phase is tedious. It requires an understanding of each patient's disease status to get a good reading. Thus, skin test should be best read and evaluated by a trained physician. A poor understanding of physiology of immune cells and each particular disease process would not provide a good reading. The quality of this phase is key to successful treatment phase.
For more information, please visit the American College of Allergy Asthma & Immunology - Allergy Test.
Click here to see an illutration of allergy test or skin test procedure.