Allergy Skin Tests

What to expect from an allergy test

A skin test is typically what is expected. This should be performed at your doctor's office. Although the length of the test will vary depending on the number of allergens you are being tested for, a common range is 20 to 40 minutes.

Scratch test

Scratch test otherwise referred to as a prick or puncture test will identify an immediate allergic reaction which in turn is measured and documented. Some of the more common tests are for pollen, pet dander, dust mites and mold. While most adults are tested on their forearms, children are more commonly tested on their upper back due to their size. It is important to note that while the name sounds like it may be a painful procedure, it is actually far less painful since the lancets or needles used will barely penetrate the patient's skin.

Injection test

At times a different test can be administered requiring a small amount of allergen to be injected just under your skin and evaluated after 15 minutes. Penicillin allergies is one of the more common uses for this type of test.

Patch test

Unlike other test, this type of test does not require you to penetrate the skin via a needle. A patch containing the allergic is applied to your skin. You may be required to wear this patch for up to 48 hours. A common use for this test is when testing for skin irritants.

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