Pollen, molds, dust mites, animal dander, insect stings, foods, and medicines: finding out what you’re allergic to is the important first step to effective allergy treatment. The test involves using shallow testing needles (lancets) to prick the surface of the skin with a small amount of suspected allergen. Multiple potential allergens are tested simultaneously. If you’re allergic, you will have short-lived redness, swelling, or mild discomfort at the test spot.
An allergy test is quick, painless, and is covered by many insurances. Positive reactions usually appear within 20 minutes. Sometimes redness and swelling can occur several hours after skin testing. The delayed reaction usually dissipates in 24 to 48 hours, but report it to our office in case it occurs.
Once we discover what you’re allergic to, we can devise strategies to combat it. There is a plethora of treatment options available on a case-by-case basis, though in many cases, avoiding the offending agent can be the simplest and most effective tool.
Don’t take any oral antihistamine medication (clritin, zyrtec) for 2 days prior to testing, as this can suppress skin reactivity and interfere with the test. Talk to us about whether allergy testing may be right for you.