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Skin prick test for allergies

A test to diagnose food and environmental allergies

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

About

A skin prick test is usually the first test to be carried out when looking for an allergen. It's a quick, safe and painless test, and you'll get the results quickly.

Need to know

  • What happens 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. Where your 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 antihistamines 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.
  • Afterwards icon plus

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

Our 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 facilities

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

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    Sevenoaks Medical Centre

    Beadle House

    London Road

    Sevenoaks TN13 2JD

    Call 01732 775 800

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

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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