Allergy Skin Testing

Allergy skin testing is performed by Alpine Ear Nose and Throats allergy technicians for inhaled environmental allergens. We test for 54 air born allergic triggers that are native to Colorado and the western states. Testing will take place in two phases. The first test is a skin prick test, the second test is an intradermal test.

Skin prick test

The first test is a skin prick test, also called a puncture or scratch test. This type of testing uses needles (lancets) that barely penetrate the skin’s surface. You won’t bleed or feel more than mild, momentary discomfort.

This testing is designed to:

  • Safely test all 54 antigens at the same time.
  • Provide us information on what you are allergic to.
  • Give us a positive and a negative control to base your test results off from.

Skin prick testing process

Using a multi-test applicator, allergy extracts are placed on your forearms. If you are allergic to any of the antigens you will see a “wheal” begin to form. A “wheal” is a raised, red, itchy bump and surrounding “flare” which indicates the presence of the allergy antibody when the body is exposed to specific allergens. The larger the wheal and flare, the greater the sensitivity.

Intradermal test

After the skin prick test we now have a good idea of what you’re allergic to. The second test is designed to confirm and verify the skin prick testing results. This will give the doctors a clear understanding of how your body is reacting to environmental allergy triggers.

This testing is designed to:

  • Confirm the negative results.
  • Determine how allergic you are to the positives of the skin prick test.
  • Provide the necessary information to formulate Immunotherapy.

Intradermal testing process

When you have intradermal skin testing done, a small amount of the things you shown positive to and suspected false negative are injected under the skin. Similar to the skin-prick testing if you are allergic to an antigen, you will get a bump and redness where the allergen was injected.

Before Your Testing

To make certain that your allergy skin test is accurate, do not take any antihistamines 2-3 days prior to your appointment. Antihistamines stop the reactions that we base our results on and the physician will not be able to determine how best to treat you.

Antihistamine medications include but are not limited to:

  • Allegra
  • Claritin
  • Clarinex
  • Zyrtec
  • Alavert
  • Loratadine
  • Phenergan
  • Atarax

Astelin and Astepro, nose sprays containing antihistamines, must also be stopped 2 days prior to testing.

Some over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl and allergy/cold/sinus medications can be taken up to 3 days before your allergy testing. At your visit, your allergy technician will assess if any of the above medications, if taken, will interfere with skin testing. If it is determined that skin testing results will not be accurate, you will need to reschedule your appointment.

You can bring your usual medications to the testing, when the testing is complete you can begin your regular dosing.

– After you’re testing – 
When your testing is complete you will return for a visit with your doctor, to discuss the testing results.

Interested in Finding Out What You May be Allergic to?

 To begin your allergy testing you will need to see one of our physicians or physician’s assistants, during this visit you will have the opportunity to discuss what symptoms you are experiencing, and how we can help.

After meeting with one of our physician’s you will be scheduled with our allergy clinic to begin your diagnostic testing. When your testing is complete you will return to your physician to review your testing results.

Give either the Fort Collins or Loveland office a call to set up an appointment with one of our physicians or physician’s assistants for an allergy visit.