What is an allergy test - Skin Prick?
A Skin Prick is used to diagnose allergies. The Doctor will prick gently through a drop of allergen extract placed on the surface on the arm. If you are allergic to the allergen you will have a small, itchy swelling and a reddening of the skin after 10-15min. During the consultation you will be asked when your symptoms are most obvious. The doctor will choose which allergens you need testing with.
You should not take any antihistamines or cough medicines for at least 3 days before attending the clinic. This is because medicines interfere with the body's reaction to the Skin Prick test and could suppress your test results.
The doctor will tell you to rest your arm near the edge of a table and using a pen the doctor will mark and code your forearm. The doctor will then apply one drop of each allergen solution on to your skin next to its code number.
If you are allergic to one of the allergens a slight swelling surrounded by a red area will develop after about 15 min. The reaction will disappear after 2 or 3 hours. The doctor will prescribe the treatment most suitable for you.
Allergy symptoms: urge to sneeze, runny or blocked nose causing breathing difficulty; itching, reddening, watering, swelling eyes; asthma, occasionally acute breathing difficulty; nettle rash or eczema.