Prepare for your visit

While your allergist is an expert on medical care, you are the expert on yourself or your child. Often there can be more than one option for diagnosing and treating a condition. By acting as a partner with your doctor, you can help choose the option that best fits your values, beliefs, and lifestyle. This can make you feel more confident about your/your child's treatment plan. 

What will happen at your allergy skin testing visit

No needles are 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. 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.

The doctor will then spend a lot of time consulting with you about your treatment options. The entire testing procedure, physical examination and consultation takes about one and a half hours in the office.

What to bring

Please complete the allergy questionnaire forms prior to your visit with the allergist. You may receive the forms by mail or at the front desk upon check-in.  If you have been evaluated previously for this or any related condition, please bring all materials with you.  Also bring with you:

  • Completed New Patient Packet, if it has arrived by mail
  • Results of previous tests
  • List of medications that you/your child currently take
  • List of known allergies

What to think about

Also, you can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What are your main symptoms?
  • How long have you had your symptoms?
  • What were you doing when your symptoms started?
  • Have you had this problem in the past?
  • What was the diagnosis?
  • How was it treated?
  • What activities, related to sports, work, or your lifestyle, make your symptoms better or worse?
  • What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help?
  • What nonprescription medicines have you taken? Did they help?