Allergen skin test

An allergic reaction is an excessive reaction of the body to a substance that does not actually cause harm. A substance that causes such a reaction is called an allergen. Allergens are found in the air (house dust mites, pollen, animal dander, molds), in food, from insects, drugs and poisons, as well as in skin care products and perfumes.

Why do a skin test?

A skin test is done to see if you are sensitive to certain allergens. Just by injecting the allergens below the surface of the skin (intracutaneous skin test) or pricking them with special needles on the skin (skin prick test or percutaneous test), the allergic reaction is, so to speak, provoked. If you are sensitive after 15 to 20 minutes you will see a swelling, being a reddish reaction around the area of the prick and/or a bump.

How is the skin test performed?

A small amount (0.03 ml) of allergen is injected superficially into the skin intra-or percutaneously.

Possible reactions to the skin test

If there is an allergic reaction, you can see immediately a swelling with a reddish area on the spot. It usually takes 1 to 2 hours before the itching and swelling have disappeared With a strong allergy an itchy bump occurs in the same area after about six hours. A severe allergic reaction to the body, also known as an allergic or anaphylactic shock, is rare because we inject only a minimal amount of the allergen. If during or after the skin test you have discomfort from sneezing, itchy eyes, difficulty breathing or other symptoms, you should inform your doctor/technician immediately. These complaints should be treated immediately by a physician. If you think you might faint because of the injections please indicate so prior to the test.

The skin test then will be performed while you are lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair. You can usually resume your daily activities at the end of and after the test.

What medications to stop 24 hours before the test?

Anti-allergic drugs, such as Montelukast, and Singulair, Antiemetic drugs, such as Cinnarizine. Anti-dizziness medicines such as Betaserc