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Marc G. Dubin, MD, FACS

Specialized care for the nose and sinuses for Baltimore, MD 410.821.5151

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Test Prep > Testing Consent > Allergen Avoidance >  

Patient Instruction/Consent Form for Allergy Skin Testing


Skin Test: Skin tests are methods of testing for allergic antibodies. A test consists of

introducing small amounts of the suspected substance, or allergen, into the skin and noting the

development of a positive reaction (which consists of a wheal, swelling, or flare in the

surrounding area of redness). The results are read at 15 to 20 minutes after the application of

the allergen. The skin test methods are:


Prick Method: The skin is pricked with a needle where a drop of allergen has already been



Interpreting the clinical significance of skin tests requires skillful correlation of the test results

with the patient’s clinical history. Positive tests indicate the presence of allergic antibodies and

are not necessarily correlated with clinical symptoms.


You will be tested to important (location) airborne allergens and possibly some foods. These

include, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, dust mites, and animal dander and, possibly some foods.

The skin testing generally takes 20 minutes. Prick (also known as percutaneous) tests are

usually performed on your arms but may also be performed on your back.


If you have a specific allergic sensitivity to one of the allergens, a red, raised, itchy bump (caused

by histamine release into the skin) will appear on your skin within 15 to 20 minutes. These

positive reactions will gradually disappear over a period of 30 to 60 minutes, and, typically, no

treatment is necessary for this itchiness. Occasionally local swelling at a test site will begin 4 to

8 hours after the skin tests are applied.. These reactions are not serious and will disappear over the next week or so. They should be measured and reported to your physician at your next visit.



1. No prescription or over the counter oral antihistamines should be used 4 to 5 days prior

to scheduled skin testing. These include cold tablets, sinus tablets, hay fever

medications, or oral treatments for itchy skin, over the counter allergy medications,

such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra ,Actifed, Dimetapp, Benedryl, and many others.

Prescription antihistamines such as Clarinex and Xyzol should also be stopped at least 5

days prior to testing. If you have any questions whether or not you are using an

antihistamine, lease please asks the nurse or the doctor. In some instances a longer

period of time off these medications may be necessary.


2. You should discontinue your nasal and eye antihistamine medications, such as Patanase,

Pataday, Astepro, Optivar, or Astelin at least 2 days before the testing. In some

instances a longer period of time off these medications may be necessary. If you have

any questions whether or not you are using an antihistamine, lease please asks the

nurse or the doctor. In some instances a longer period of time off these medications

may be necessary.


3. Medications such as over the counter sleeping medications (e.g. Tylenol PM) and other

prescribed drugs, such as amytriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil), hydroxyzine (Atarax),

doxepin (Sinequan), and imipramine (Tofranil) have antihistaminic activity and should be

discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to receiving skin test after consultation with your

physician. Please make the doctor or nurse aware of the fact that you are taking these

medications so that you may be advised as to how long prior to testing you should stop

taking them.



1. You may continue to use your intranasal allergy sprays such as Flonase Rhinocort,

Nasonex, Nasacort. Omnaris, Veramyst and Nasarel.


2. Asthma inhalers (inhaled steroids and bronchodilators), leukotriene antagonist s (e.g.

Singulair, Accolate) and oral theophylline (Theo-Dur,T-Phyl, Uniphyl, Theo-24, etc.) do

not interfere with skin testing and should be used as prescribed.


3. Most drugs do not interfere with skin testing but make certain that your physician and

nurse know about every drug you are taking (bring a list if necessary)..


Skin testing will be administered at this medical facility with a medical physician or other health

care professional present since occasional reactions may require immediate therapy. These

reactions may consist of any or all of the following symptoms: itchy eyes, nose, or throat; nasal

congestion; runny nose; tightness in the throat or chest; increased wheezing; lightheadedness;

faintness; nausea and vomiting; hives; generalized itching; and shock, the latter under extreme

circumstances. Please let the physician and nurse know if you are pregnant or taking betablockers.


Allergy skin testing may be postponed until after the pregnancy in the unlikely event

of a reactions to the allergy testing and beta-blockers are medications they may make the

treatment of the reaction to skin testing more difficult.


Please note that these reactions rarely occur but in the event a reaction would occur, the

staff is fully trained and emergency equipment is available.


After skin testing, you will consult with your physician or other health care professional who will

make further recommendations regarding your treatment.


We request that you do not bring small children with you when you are scheduled for skin

testing unless they are accompanied by another adult who can sit with them in the reception


I have read the patient information sheet on allergy skin testing and understand it. The

opportunity has been provided for me to ask questions regarding the potential side effects of

allergy skin testing and these questions have been answered to my satisfaction. I understand

that every precaution consistent with the best medical practice will be carried out to protect

me against such reactions.


Patient_______________________________________ Date signed__________

Parent or legal guardian*_________________________ Date signed__________

*as parent or legal guardian, I understand that I must accompany my child throughout the

entire procedure and visit.


Witness ______________________________________ Date signed__________