Skin Testing

About skin testing

There are 2 levels of skin testing that can be done at Blue Ridge Allergy. One is skin prick testing and one is intradermal testing. Skin prick testing is the first and more simple form of testing. Intradermals get a little more complicated and are not done on small children. Food testing is also only done via skin prick testing and not by intradermal testing.

Preprocedure: If you are being evaluated for allergies, please stop taking antihistamines (such as Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec) for at least 5 days before the appointment. If you are unable to stop or unsure if your medication is an antihistamine, please call our office. Please do NOT stop using inhalers or taking your other medications.

Skin prick testing

What To Expect: A small amount of extract is placed on the forearm or back with a small device that lightly scratches the skin. Screening skin tests involve about 20 skin tests on children and 30 skin tests on adults. The tests take about 20 minutes, when results should be seen. A positive result will be a raised bump, some redness and itching at the individual skin test site.

Intradermal testing

What To Expect: A small amount of extract is injected under the skin on the upper arm. If you have ever had a PPD/tuberculosis screening test, this will feel similar. The procedure is not anywhere near as painful or uncomfortable as receiving a shot. Intradermal tests are done when skin prick results are not definitive enough to give us the answers we need to determine treatment. Usually 1-10 intradermals are needed, if any. They are not done on small children. A positive result will be a raised bump, some redness and itching at the individual skin test site.

Postprocedure: There may be some temporary itching at the skin test site if you are allergic. The tests should not be painful.