Wear comfortable clothing. Testing is done on arms or back, so do not wear a one piece outfit.
Skin testing is either done on the arms or the back, so please keep these areas as clean and clear as possible. A tiny amount of the allergen(s) your doctor is suspicious of will be placed on the skin and the top layer is “scratched” to allow a very small amount of the allergen to leak in under the skin. This is a relatively painless procedure that is easily tolerated by young and old alike. It can take up to 15 minutes for the results to fully appear. In some cases testing using an intra-dermal method may also be needed. You may experience some local redness and itching for up to 24 hours after testing. Occasionally, skin test reactions last for several days. Do not be alarmed as the tests will fade away. Delayed reactions are not considered significant.
Your doctor determines the number of tests done according to the history you have given him/her. The number of intra-dermal tests is indicated only after prick testing.
It is important to stay off antihistamines for 3 days prior to the appointment
(see below for a list of examples). Many cough/cold remedies also contain antihistamines. Antihistamines will block the skin test reaction.
Most Antihistamines are over the counter and therefore can go by many store brand names- ask your pharmacist or call and ask to speak to our nursing staff if you are unsure of your medications.
A few examples of brand names are capitalized – if any questions, look for the generic name
- azelastine (ASTELIN, ASTEPRO, DYMISTA nasal sprays)
- brompheniramine (DIMETAPP)
- cetirizine (ALLERTEC, ZYRTEC, ZYRTEC-D)
- chlorpheniramine (CHLOR-TRIMETON, TRIAMINIC)
- desloratadine (CLARINEX)
- diphenhydramine (BENADRYL, DIPHEDRYL)
- doxylamine (NYQUIL, ALKA-SELTZER PLUS)
- fexofenadine (ALLEGRA, ALLEGRA-D)
- hydroxyzine (ATARAX, VISTARIL)
- loratadine (ALLERCLEAR, ALAVERT, CLARITIN, CLARITIN-D)
- levocetirizine (XYZAL)
- olaptadine (PATANASE nasal spray)
Some Over-The-Counter (OTC) cold/flu medications and sleep aids contain antihistamines such as doxylamine or diphenhydramine as one of the ingredients and should be stopped 3 days prior to your appointment.
- Examples of cold/flu medications: Tylenol Cold & Sinus, Nyquil, Advil Cold & Sinus
- Examples of sleep aids: Advil PM, Nyquil Relief, Nytol, Tylenol PM, Unisom and ZzzQuil
Some Acid-reflux medications are antihistamines and should be stopped 24 hours prior to your appointment.
- Examples of acid-reflux medications: Cimetidine (TAGAMET), Ranitidine (ZANTAC) and Famotidine (PEPCID)