FAQ’s: Allergy/Immunology

Allergy FAQ’s

What is a skin test?  An allergy skin test is the most reliable source of allergy testing available.  It is more sensitive than blood testing.  The testing procedure consists of small, disposable, plastic toothpick-resembling sticks that prick the skin on your back.  These prick sticks contain trace amounts of allergens like molds, fungus, and other allergens.  After all the pricks have been made, the results can be read in about 20 – 30 minutes and consist of redness to bumps resembling mosquito bites.

Does the skin test hurt? The skin test is itchy, but no severe pain is felt.  The redness and bumps that appear as a result will be itchy, and antihistamines and topical itch creams or ointments may be applied to relieve the itchy sensation.

How old does one have to be to receive an allergy test? There is no age barrier to receive the skin test.  We just ask that the patient be able to sit still for the duration of the test, otherwise the results will not be accurate.

Can I get a copy of my allergy test results?  Yes, of course.  We typically give one copy to patient at the time of the visit.  If one is not offered/given, please ask our staff prior to leaving.

Why do I have to stay off of antihistamines for 5 days prior to any visit?We ask patients to stay off of antihistamines for 5 days because they can stay in your system for several days.  This will ensure that we get the most accurate results from the skin test. It also allows the physician to see your untreated allergy.

Do the allergy shots hurt? Everyone’s pain tolerance is different.  However, our physicians have many years of experience giving allergy injections and have found ways to make them less painful.

What kind of reaction can I expect to get after an allergy shot? There are 3 types of reactions that MAY occur after an allergy injection, but the most common reaction is what is referred to as a local reaction: itching and a bump at the   injection site.  Antihistamines are usually helpful for treating this type of reaction.  There are two other types of  reactions that can be discussed with your allergist.

*If you have any reaction after the injection, please call our office for proper notation and assistance.

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