Allergy Skin Test

What is an Allergy Skin Test?

Allergy Skin Test is a series of tests on the skin to find out which substances cause a person to have an allergic reaction. The test looks for reactions to specific allergens that are placed on the skin.

These allergens may include pollen, dust, molds, and medicines such as penicillin.

AZ Allergy Associates Allergy Skin Tests

There are three main ways to get allergens to react with your skin but the steps vary depending on what type of test you’re having.

  • Skin Prick Test – also called a puncture or scratch test. The providers draw marks on your skin (usually on the forearm for adults and the upper back for the children) after cleaning with alcohol. Then they’ll apply a drop of a potential allergen on each of those spots and uses a lancet to prick the extracts into the skin’s surface.
  • Intradermal Test – this test injects a small amount of allergen just under your skin.
  • Patch Test – the test put an allergen on a patch and then stick that on your arm or back.

The pricking part of scratch and intradermal tests takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Then you’ll wait about 15 minutes to see how your skin reacts. Therefore plan for an hour-long appointment.

Patch tests take more time, you’ll have to wear a patch for about 48 hours in case you have a delayed reaction to the allergen.

What to expect from our service?

An allergy skin test isn’t painful. This type of testing use needles (lancets) that barely penetrate the skin’s surface. You won’t bleed or feel more than mild, momentary discomfort.

In either case, we will keep a close eye on the signs of a small hive or bump at the test site. The size of the bump will give you details about the sensitivity level. After the test, the bump should fade quickly, and no other side effects should remain.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

  • You may need to stop taking certain medicines before the test. These include antihistamines and¬†antidepressants. We will let you know which medicines to avoid before your test and how long to avoid them.
  • If your child is being tested, we will apply a numbing cream to his or her skin before the test.

After the test, we will clean any extracts and ink marks off your skin with alcohol. You may need to use a mild cortisone cream to ease itching.

If ever you get a patch test, you’ll go home with bandages on your skin. Don’t get these areas wet — no baths or swimming. When you go back to us in a couple of days, we will take another look at your skin.

We will interpret the findings of allergy skin testing based on your case history and allergy symptoms. In addition to any current medications for allergy symptoms, we will guide how to reduce potential allergic reactions by taking preventative steps.


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Dear Arizona Allergy Associates Community,

We want to reassure you that we are taking all precautions to prevent the transmission of viral illnesses, including COVID-19. As always, our exam rooms and instruments will be sanitized between each visit and our waiting rooms will be sanitized regularly throughout the day. We are asking that all persons entering the offices wear face coverings. Additionally, please limit the number of persons presenting to the office; we ask that only one parent attends with a child and that additional siblings remain home.

As an extra precaution, we will not be seeing any sick visits or patients with fever or flu-like symptoms at present. We request that any allergy injection patients and/or patients with upcoming office visits reschedule if they have been in contact with someone with fever or flu-like symptoms.

If you suspect you may have a viral illness such as influenza or COVID-19 you should seek emergency care services or primary care services as we are unable to swab and test for these illnesses.

Finally, for all allergy injections patients: out of an abundance of caution and in order to limit your exposure to any viral vectors, we request that you limit close contact in waiting areas. At this time we will temporarily allow you to sit in your vehicle during your 30-minute wait. You will still be required to come in and have your arm read at 30 minutes or earlier if you are experiencing any reaction during your wait. We may also alter your shot schedule to limit your visits to the clinic temporarily.

Thank you for your understanding during these difficult times. These changes are temporary and we will keep you posted with any changes or additional information.