Tips To Help You Prepare For Allergy Skin Testing

During a skin allergy test, or intradermal allergy test, a small amount of allergen is injected into your skin, such as the skin on your back. The allergist will then watch for an allergic reaction. If an allergic reaction occurs, such as redness or swelling, it is a signal you are allergic to the substance. Here are a few simple tips that can help you or your child prepare for a skin allergy test.

Stop Taking Certain Medications

Your allergist will provide you with a comprehensive list of medications you need to stop taking prior to your skin allergy test. Depending upon the medication, you should stop taking the prescription or over-the-counter drug anywhere from three to seven days before your appointment. For example, discontinue your over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines.

Your allergist will recommend you stop taking certain heartburn medications, as well. With your primary physician's assistance, you will also be asked to stop taking some tricyclic antidepressant medications and beta-blockers before the appointment. All of the above-mentioned types of medications can interfere with the results.

Avoid Wearing Lotions and Perfumes

If you take a shower prior to the testing, steer clear of heavily perfumed lotions, body oils, and perfumes. These heavily scented products will coat your skin, and the perfumes can interfere with the results. If you have lotion or perfume on, wipe it off prior to the test.

Avoid Excessive Sunlight Before the Test

During skin allergy testing, a small amount of allergen will be introduced with a small prick or scrape that is only mildly uncomfortable. If your skin is irritated by a sunburn, the discomfort can be more intense. Avoid the sun as much as possible and definitely avoid getting a sunburn prior to the skin allergy testing.

Bring Along Something To Stay Entertained

Finally, the skin allergy testing can take several hours to complete. Don't hesitate to bring something to keep yourself entertained, such as your phone, a tablet, or a book. If you are taking your child to be allergy tested, it is especially important to bring along something to keep your little one entertained and distracted from the mild discomfort.

Ask your allergist if you can bring along a drink and a snack for your child, as well.

Preparing for your skin allergy test will help ensure the results are as accurate as possible. If you have any more questions, contact your allergist.