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

  • What happens during the test? icon plus

    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.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    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.
  • After your test icon plus

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

Our allergy consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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