Allergy testing determines to what substances a person is allergic to. The testing may be done in the skin as prick testing or in the blood at a reference laboratory.
Skin testing is the most common, reliable and relatively painless form of allergy testing. A very small amount of certain allergens is introduced into your skin by making a small indentation or “prick” on the surface of your skin. A skin test determines specific allergies based on skin reactions to particular allergens. Results are visible on your skin within 15-20 minutes.
Blood tests are generally used when performing skin tests is not feasible, such as if you are taking certain medications or have a skin condition that may interfere with skin testing. Prior to allergy testing, be sure to discontinue any antihistamine medications for at least 5 days as these may block the allergy test completely. If your symptoms are severe and you cannot stop the use of medications, we will provide an alternative on the day of your evaluation.
Medications you should discontinue prior to skin testing:
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
- Claritin (loratadine)
- Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Zyrtec (cetirizine)
- Astelin, Optivar (azelastine)
- Patanase, Pataday, Patanol (olapatadine)
- Dymista nasal spray
- Atarax (hydroxyzine)
- Zantac (ranitidine)
- Pepcid (famotidine)
- Antivert (meclizine)