Skin prick test for allergies

A TEST TO DIAGNOSE FOOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES


It's a quick, safe and painless test, and you'll get the results quickly

What is a skin prick test?

A skin prick test is usually the first test to be carried out when looking for an allergen.

​A skin prick test is a quick, painless and effective way of testing for common allergens which are eaten or inhaled

Need to know

Before the test is carried out, we will take a detailed medical history from you. Your test will be carried out by either a specially trained nurse or your consultant. This test is usually carried out on the inner forearm.

A small drop of the allergen will be placed on your skin. Your skin will then be pricked through the drop using the tip of a small, sharp surgical instrument (a lancet) to see if there is a reaction. This may be a bit uncomfortable but isn't painful. The area of skin has been pricked will quickly get itchy, and a small swollen and red mark called a wheal will appear. Your results will be explained to you at the appointment.

It's very important that you stop taking any medicines that contain anti-histamines (anti allergy medication)a week before you have the test (cetirizine/loratatine). Avoid piriton for 72 hours before the test. This is to stop them interfering with your test results. Your consultant will let you know if there are any risks and side effects involved.

Your consultant will look at your results and talk these through with you. They may recommend further tests.

Our locations

The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.