Allergy Skin Test

An allergy skin test involves applying an allergen extract such as dust mites, pollen, mold, or food, to the skin of a patient in order to provoke an allergic reaction — in which a reaction indicates the patient is allergic to the specific substance.

Overview

The types of allergens used in the allergy skin test are first chosen during the consultation with your physician, after which they may schedule an appointment for the test at a later date. This type of test is appropriate for use with patients of all ages, including infants. The results are available and can be used for diagnosis on the same day. The Allergy Center at Bumrungad International Hospital can carry out skin tests for up to 100 different substances, including:

  • Grains
  • Meats
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Seafood
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Fruit
  • Animal fur
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Tree pollen 
  • Grass pollen
  • Weed pollen

Patients must avoid anti-allergy medications (oral medications only) for at least 5-7 days prior to taking the test.

  1. First, the nurse will mark areas on the skin of your arm or back and label them for the types of allergens that will be used in the skin test.
  2. A drop of an allergen extract will then be applied next to each mark and a small lancet will be used to gently prick the extracts into the skin. In approximately 20 minutes, the results can be read.
  3. The types of allergens chosen for use in the skin test are dependent on the medical history of each individual patient.

If the patient is allergic to a certain substance, a raised reddish spot (hives) will develop along with, possibly, some mild itchiness at the test location on the skin. The size of the localized redness will only be about 3 millimeters, and will usually disappear within a few hours.

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