Skin Testing

Skin testing is a quick procedure used to diagnose environmental, food and medication allergies.

1)  A small duo-tip (similar to a toothpick) is dipped in a well with various purified allergens:


2) The duo-tip is quickly pressed against your lower inner arm (may be done on your back)

3) You will then wait in the office for 10-15 minutes

4) The doctor will then check your arm.  If you are allergic to any of the allergens, you will develop a welt (raised itchy bump).

5) The doctor will then measure the size of the welt

I am coming in for testing to food, and I was asked to bring a small piece of the food I am allergic to, will I have to eat it?  No, for food skin testing, fresh food provides the most accurate results.
*** Note: You do NOT need to bring in items such as tree-nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy or wheat.

At what age can skin testing be done?
- Under the age of 1 can be tested, however it can be less accurate
- For children under 3, they have not seen enough seasons to develop seasonal allergies.  Therefore, their skin test would only involve perennial allergies, such as dust mites, pets (cats, dogs etc), and mold.

Occasionally, we do need to use a further type of skin testing that involves injecting pharmacuetical  allergen extracts.  It is a quick test where a small amount of the allergen is injected between the top layers of skin (inter-dermal).  A small raised area will form (a bleb). This test only takes 15 minutes to get results.

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