Family Center for Asthma and Allergic Diseases

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Allergy Skin Testing

Skin Pricks – Testing is performed on the forearms (for older children and adults) or back (for younger children) with a small plastic device that applies a drop of the various allergens just under the outer layer of the skin, basically “scratching” the surface of the skin. This is not a shot and is well tolerated by patients of all ages (even infants). The test sites are measured after a ten minute wait.

Intradermal – In some cases, further testing is needed and the second part of allergy skin testing is done with an intradermal. This test is performed by placing a small amount of allergen under the second layer of skin (similar to a tuberculosis skin test). This test is mainly used to test for specific allergies when the skin prick test fails to reveal a highly suspected allergy.