Allergy skin tests (1683)

Key points below

What are the benefits of allergy skin tests?

Allergy tests help figure out what may be causing allergy symptoms. Something that triggers an allergy symptom is called an allergen. Knowing what triggers allergy symptoms can help to avoid those triggers. Allergy tests may be done to evaluate:


The most common types of skin tests are: Skin prick test. These tests are done on the back or forearm.


Intradermal test. This test is done after the skin prick test if needed. It may find allergens that did not show up on the skin prick test and is done on the upper arm.


With both tests there may be some pain. The test spots may itch during and after the test but should not be touched for 20 minutes.Allergy skin test

Allergy skin tests should not be done if you:

What do the results mean?Allergy test results

Understanding the results is not easy. The provider will review many things before deciding if it is a true allergy and will talk with you about the results.

What are the risks during or after the skin tests?

There is a risk of reaction.

Mild. These can happen at the site of the allergy test. It may hurt or be red, swollen, or itchy. We expect a mild reaction to any positive allergens. You may be given Zyrtec (certirizine) if you are uncomfortable. If the reaction gets bigger after you leave or lasts more than 24 hours, call the allergy clinic.

Serious. These do not happen often but can lead to death if they are not treated. Tell the nurse right away if you have any of the following:

 Anaphylactic shock. This is rare but is the most serious allergic reaction. The above symptoms can lead to this. It can happen any time after the test is put on.

If there is a serious or anaphylactic reaction, emergency medicine will be given right away. The medicine is called epinephrine and comes in an Epi-Pen.

 By signing the consent form, you are giving the providers permission to do the tests and treat any reactions.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.