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Skin testing instructions

So, your doctor has recommended skin testing for allergies.

Download a printable version of these instructions.

Your allergist has recommended that you have allergy skin testing to identify what might be causing your symptoms.  The following information will help you plan for this:

  • We will begin with percutaneous skin testing using a sterile plastic device (Multitest). This part of the test will be done on your back.
  • If the test is positive, there will be a reaction similar to a mosquito bite at the test site.
  • For any of these tests that are negative, an intradermal test may be done. This will consist of placing a small amount of antigen under the skin in the upper arm with a very small needle.
  • Each test will be checked after fifteen to twenty minutes.
  • Positive tests will usually go away (on their own) in about an hour, however they may reoccur in 4-6 hours and last for several days. Over the counter antihistamines and hydrocortisone cream may be used.
  • You should eat breakfast and/or lunch prior to your testing appointment.
  • If you have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection or significant allergies, allergy skin testing may not be advisable on that day as there is an increased risk of having a systemic reaction.

Testing for inhalant or food allergy may take an hour or more.  Testing for allergy to stinging insects or medicines may take several hours.  You will also have a follow-up appointment with your doctor after the test.   Please allow yourself enough time.

There is a small risk of having an allergic reaction to the skin test, symptoms may include sudden onset of diffuse itching, hives, coughing, wheezing and profound drop in blood pressure.  If we suspect you are having an allergic reaction, an anaphylaxis treatment protocol will be followed.  This may involve the use of an adrenaline shot, oral antihistamines and systemic steroids.  In the highly unlikely event that you have a severe allergic reaction, emergency services may be necessary.  Patients who experience an allergic reaction will typically have to be monitored for up to 2 hours.

If either you or your child is to be tested, please do not bring children or siblings to this testing visit.

Please let us know if there is a possibility that you might be pregnant.

Medication Concerns

Antihistamines and certain other medicines should not be taken for an interval before testing. However, you should not stop any medicines other than antihistamines without first checking with your doctor.

You should continue to take your other usual prescription medicines. Asthma medications, steroid nasal sprays, blood pressure and heart medications (except beta-blockers), and hormones will not interfere with allergy skin testing. Please see the next page for a list of medications to be stopped prior to testing.

Your insurance plan may require authorization before skin testing ma y be done. Please check your plan to ensure appropriate authorization is in place. We do not preauthorize allergy skin tests. You are responsible for charges not covered by your insurance.

CPT codes for skin testing 95004 (per each skin prick, typically 64) 95024 (intradermals, max 20)

Since a significant amount of time is planned for you , if you must cancel your skin test appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice. If you have any questions, please call us at 901-4002

*** NOTE: Please be sure to review the “medications to avoid list”, the testing that we do will not work if you are on these medications and we will have to reschedule your appointment.

 Medications to Avoid Prior to Testing

Medications to Avoid for skin testing

Since a significant amount of time is planned for you , if you must cancel your skin test appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice. If you have any questions, please call us at 901-4002

*** NOTE: Please be sure to review the “medications to avoid list”, the testing that we do will not work if you are on these medications and we will have to reschedule your appointment.

MANY OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINES CONTAIN AN ANTIHISTAMINE. If you are uncertain whether a medicine you are taking contains an antihistamine, please feel free to call the office 901-4924.

MEDICATIONS THAT DO NOT NEED TO BE STOPPED INCLUDE: all asthma controlling and rescue inhalers, steroid nasal sprays (Flonase, Nasonex, Omnaris, Veramyst, Nasacort, Rhinocort, Qnasl, Zetonna), Singulair, Sudafed, Mucinex.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  • All patients will be required to remove their shirt and upper torso undergarments, unless there is an adequate testing area without doing so. We suggest you wear appropriate attire.
  • All patients who have longer than shoulder length hair will need to plan to put their hair up during the testing procedure.