Allergy Skin Testing – 5 Steps to Prepare

Ok, so you’ve had a reaction to something, that wasn’t fun; and now you and your physician have determined that you should have an allergy test to find out if your reaction might have been caused by an allergy. How do you prepare, what should you avoid? Have no fear; we have the answers for you so that you go into your testing relaxed and confident.

5 Easy Steps to prepare you for Allergy Skin Testing

Medication—this one is pretty important

no-benadrylYour allergist should provide you with a list of exactly what you should and shouldn’t take prior to your test. In most cases, you will need to refrain from taking all medication that contains antihistamine for at least 7 days prior to your test. This is because the tester actually needs to see what you react to when tested and antihistamines will block most allergic reactions. That said, if you are taking medications for any other chronic condition such as heart problems or inhaled medications for your chest or nose, you should keep taking them as prescribed. More often than not, you may resume all medications following your skin test. Contact your allergist for their specific medication directions around testing.

Eat

This is one test where it’s always a good idea to have something in your stomach prior to your appointment. Just make sure not to eat anything to which you’ve reacted in the past.

Avoid the sun 

It’s important to avoid overexposure to the sun prior to your skin test as sunburn will not only make the test uncomfortable, but may make it difficult to read results.

Bring entertainment

ipadWhile the skin test doesn’t take a very long time to perform, the actual appointment may last several hours. Make sure to bring a good book or something else to keep you entertained. Some allergists provide movies for you to watch during your visit.

Relax

Skin testing is a relatively easy procedure. You will be closely monitored throughout your visit and the results will provide the knowledge you need to make informed, empowered decisions regarding your health.

Please note that it is our recommendation to seek an allergist for your allergy testing. Every allergist has a clearly defined protocol to adhere to prior to skin testing. It’s very important that you read the literature your allergist provides thoroughly. For more information on allergy skin testing, you can visit http://acaai.org/allergies/treatment/allergy-testing/skin-test.