Food Allergy Skin Test

Overview of a Food Allergy Skin Test

Skin testing is a common way to test for allergies. The test uses a concentrated liquid form of the allergens and will be placed on your back and then they will scratch the outer layer of skin to allow the allergen to get in. After all of the allergens have been placed, then you will need to wait for 15 minutes for a reaction. This type of testing may be mildly aggravating but it will not hurt, it can be compared to a mosquito bite. It can test for common allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, animal dander and food.

Risks of a Food Allergy Skin Test

Risks in an allergy skin test are very low. The more common symptom of this test is small, red bumps that may occur after the test. A severe allergic reaction rarely occurs in skin testing; however, it is necessary to have these tests performed at your allergist’s office just in case.

Preparation of a Food Allergy Skin Test

Before the test, your allergist will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms and health history. When scheduling your allergy test, speak with your allergist about medications that you may need to stop taking. Some medications will interfere with the test results.

What to Expect with a Food Allergy Skin Test

A nurse will typically administer the test while the allergist will read the results. The nurse will begin by cleaning the test site and drawing marks on the skin. A drop of each allergen is placed next to each mark. Then a lancet is used to prick the allergen into the skin. The test is not painful.

Results of a Food Allergy Skin Test

You will know the results of the test before you leave the allergist’s office. If you are allergic to one of the allergens, then you will develop a red, itchy bump where the allergen was. Once the allergist knows what you are allergic to, then you both can decide on an allergy action plan or what medications to take.