Allergy Skin Testing in New York City

Allergy skin testing is the most sensitive form of allergy testing and continues to be the benchmark used by most allergists to diagnose the cause of allergies.

Our office uses a Skin Prick Method where the skin is pricked with a disposable plastic applicator that delivers a very small amount of allergenic extract into the skin surface. Each applicator tests eight (8) allergens and as many as six (6) applicators will be applied to your arms or back. No needles are used in this method.

Allergens

You will be tested to a variety of airborne and or food allergens. These include pollens (from trees, grasses, & weeds), molds, dust mites, and animal dander.

The procedure takes less than 10 minutes to administer and the results are read approximately 15 to 20 minutes after the application of the allergen.

You will feel a pricking sensation during the application of allergen and will experience some itching. The testing staff will provide a cream to help relieve itching after the test results have been recorded. In rare cases, some local swelling may occur several hours after the skin tests are applied. Any positive reactions will gradually disappear over a period of 30 to 60 minutes.

Medications to avoid

  • Stop prescriptions & over-the-counter Antihistamine medications 4 to 5 days before your appointment. If you are not sure about the medication you’re taking please call the office.
    • Examples: Cold tablets, sinus tablets, hay fever medications, or oral treatments for itchy skin, Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Actifed, Dimetapp, Benadryl, Clarinex, Xyzal.
  • Over-the-counter sleeping medication, such as Tylenol PM: Stop 3 day before your appointment
  • Stop antihistamine medications for eyes and nasal 2 days before your appointment.
    • Examples: Patanase, Pataday, Astepro, Optivar, or Astelin, Dymista

Make sure to consult with your prescribing physician before you stop taking any of the following medications:

  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: It exerts a potent and sustained decrease of skin reactivity to histamine which may last for a few week.
  • Beta2 Agonist: Oral terbutaline and parenteral ephedrine, in general, have been shown to decrease allergen induced wheal.
  • Dopamine: Intravenous infusion of dopamine may inhibit skin test responses.
  • Beta Blocking Agents: Propranolol can significantly increases skin test reactivity.

Medications that can be continued

  • Intranasal allergy sprays: Flonase Rhinocort, Nasonex, Nasocort, Omnaris, Veramyst and Nasarel
  • Asthma Inhaler (steroids) and bronchodilators
  • Leukotriene antagonists (Singulair, Accolate)
  • Oral Theophylline

Adverse Reactions

Although adverse reactions to skin testing are rare, your test will be administered with Dr. Silvers and Vanessa’s presence since occasional reactions may required immediate therapy.  These reactions may consist of: itchy eyes, nose, or throat; nasal congestion; runny nose; tightness in the throat or chest; increase wheezing; lightheadedness; faintness; nausea and vomiting hives and generalized itching.

Other Information

  • Inform us if you are taking Beta-blocker: Lopressor (metoprolol), Coreg (carvedilol), Tenormin (atenolol), some glaucoma eye drops, and some antidepressants or Monoamine oxidase inhibitor.
  • Inform us if you are or may be pregnant