What to Expect During Skin Testing
Skin testing is the most reliable form of allergy testing. Because mast cells are located in high numbers just under the skin, results of skin testing has proven to be more accurate than blood testing in diagnosing allergies. Our educational video explaining allergy skin testing helps explain skin testing in more detail.
What Age is Appropriate for Skin Testing?
Per the American Academy of Pediatrics, age is not a barrier to skin testing. Even infants can benefit. As the child’s immune system develops, the child should be restested to identify changes in his/her immune response; many times foods can be reintroduced into the diet that once caused an allergic reaction.
The Allergy Skin Test Procedure
Skin testing is a simple series of tiny pricks made on your back. The pricks are conducted with a small instrument similar to a plastic toothpick, which contains trace amounts of single allergen like mold spores, pollen, dust mites, and/or animal dander. When the results are positive, a small reaction on the skin occurs, usually within 30 minutes. A small bump, similar to a mosquito bite, may appear and there may be some itchiness. This indicates that you allergic to that specific trigger. For those patients who do not react to this type of skin test, an intradermal process may be performed.
Depending on the results of your skin test, our allergist will determine the best way to treat your allergy symptoms.