Frequently Asked Questions

Allergy Skin Testing

Are needles used for allergy skin testing?

No, needles are not used to test for most allergens. To be tested for allergies to grasses, trees, dust mites, weeds, mold, and foods, your skin, usually your back, will be brushed with the tip of a plastic applicator to which a drop of each allergen has been applied.  Most patients say the procedure either tickles or they don't feel anything. A few patients will say it tingles or feels like a skin prick.

How long until I get the skin testing results? Do I need to return to the office to get the results?

 After the allergen is applied to your skin, the results are read by the nurse in 20 minutes.  She will be looking at how many hives develop on your skin. As the hives develop, you could experience some itching and burning. That tells the doctor how allergic you are to certain allergens. After the nurse documents the results of the skin test, a lotion will be applied to your skin to allerviate the itching from the hives.

How long will I be in the office for an initial consultation and allergy skin testing?

The initial consultation and allergy skin testing appointment will last about one and a half hours. During that time, the allergist will review your environmental and medical history, perform a thorough physical exam, and discuss the results of the tests performed that day including allergy skin testing. The allergist will spend a lot of time consulting with you about your treatment options. 

Why is it necessary to stop antihistamines prior to allergy skin testing?

Antihistamines block skin testing results and you will not gain accurate information concerning the specific allergens that cause your symptoms. Anithistamine medications can be active in your body for many days after taking the medications. Some antihistamine medications can block allergy skin testing results for as long as ten (10) days after taking the antihistamine. Tha is why you must stop taking antihistamines prior to your allergy skin testing appoinment.

If I schedule a visit at one location of A&AS, do I have to continue to be seen at that same location?

No, you can be seen at any location by any allergist. Your complete medical record is electronic and held on a central, secure computer server that communicates to all eight locations of A&AS. Your medical record is available to the staff at any of our locations.  Some patients schedule their follow-up visits with their allergist at one location, but receive their allergy injections at another A&AS location more convenient to school or work.