As you embark on your allergy testing, there are several important things to remember. Your testing process may take 60-90 minutes but will result in information on which allergens you react to and how severely you react to each one. Be sure and inform your physician and staff if you are not feeling well or have started taking any new medications or have developed any new medical problems prior to the testing.
The testing will involve needle pricks, usually done on the upper arm. Wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy exposure of this area. It is best to avoid tight or restrictive clothing. You may also have vital signs and breathing tests administered during this process.
Leave the lotions at home. Identifying your allergic responses depends on a reaction between the inflammatory cells in the skin and the antigens. In order to insure accurate test results, its best to avoid lotions or skin treatments that could interfere with the testing results.
No strenuous physical activity immediately before the test. Vigorous physical exercise could potentially increase the risk of an allergic reaction during the testing. It’s best to delay exercise until at least 3 hours after your testing.
Discontinue antihistamines for 7 days prior to testing. Antihistamines block the inflammatory cascade that results in the skin response which is being measured to determine your allergies. Medications such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Claritin (loratidine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Zyrtec (Ceterizine), and Xyzal (levocetirizine) should be discontinued 7 days prior to testing. Remember that many over the counter cough and cold medications also contains some of these drugs, so they should also be discontinued. If you have a question about your medications, please ask the staff.