How do you skin test?
The skin testing for allergies is quick and fairly painless. We use modern testing methods that do away with the needles. In addition, the tests are fast, painless, reliable, and repeatable. Appropriate skin/ lab tests or other diagnostics for the patient will be ordered based on the patient's medical condition only after an office visit with the physician. The skin testing system looks similar to this:
Here is a picture of how the allergens are placed on the skin.
Depending on one's allergic sensitivity, you may experience some itching at the time of testing. This usually subsides within 15-20 minutes, and very rarely lasts more than 24 hours.
We request everyone over 2 years of age to continuously wear their face-masks while in the office to avoid transmission of respiratory pathogens.
How do I prepare for the skin test?
You should not take following antihistamines for at least 3 days prior to the testing visit -- Some of the common antihistamines include Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Cetirizine, Xyzal, Azelastine, diphenhyrdamine, Promethazine etc. If you have a question regarding a particular drug, please speak to your pharmacist regarding readiness for skin testing. Inhalers, Montelukast, and other classes of medications can be continued. You can always call our office to clarify.
The best way to prepare to place a hairbrush with bristles on the back and forearms, gradually increasing the pressure and frequency up to 2-3 times a day about 2-4 days before the visit. This sensation you feel is very similar to when the skin testing system is placed on you. Please wear loose short sleeves for the visit and do not come on an empty stomach. Plan to be in the premises for 45 mins to an hour after testing is placed on your forearms. To avoid staying in the enclosed space inside the office you may be allowed to be walk in the hallway briefly within a safe distance.
We strongly encourage children under 5 years of age to make their appointments before 2:00 pm. Children tolerate the visit much better during the early morning hours. We also recommend not bringing along food, siblings or extended family members unless they are also being seen by the doctor. Only one parent is allowed in the testing room during the pandemic. All children and adults greater than 2 years of age MUST wear a mask, covering the nose, at all times in the office during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can bring along books, games or soothing electronic devices which may preoccupy the child following testing.