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A small drop of allergen is placed on the skin, and a scratch is made that just breaks the surface of the skin.


Mild to moderate itching of the back or arm. The test lasts 15-20 minutes. In a few cases, an intradermal injection of allergen may be placed just under the skin which can be a little more uncomfortable.


Anti-histamines (oral & nasal) need to be stopped

  • 3-7 days prior: Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Actifed, Tavist, Drixorial, other sleep aids, Astelin (Astepro/ azelastine), Dymista, or Patanase (olopatadine). Some acid reflux medications will also need to be stopped: Zantac (ranitidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Pepcid (famotidine).

  • 7 days prior: Allegra (fexofenadine), Claritin (loratadine), Clarinex (desloratadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine) or Xyzal (levocetirizine)

  • 14 days prior: Atarax (Vistaril, hydroxyzine)

Inform the nurse if you are taking a beta-blocker (blood pressure medication). Leave small children at home. If you can, wear a loose fitting shirt such as a T-shirt or tank top. We may not be able to do testing the same day as your initial appointment, and you may be asked to schedule another time.


Skin test will be reviewed with the doctor, and treatment options of environmental control, medications and/ or allergy immunotherapy (injections vs sublingual drops/ tablets) will be discussed. You should avoid exercise for approximately 2 hours after testing.

Skin Testing: FAQ
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