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What is a skin prick test?

Skin prick tests are the most commonly used allergy tests. They can be used to diagnose pollen, dust, animal, venom, food, latex, drug and vaccine allergy.

A drop of liquid with a substance (allergen) you may be allergic to, is placed onto your forearm. The skin under the drop is then gently pricked with a metal lancet. 

If you are allergic to the substance, an itchy, red bump will appear within 10-15 minutes.

Are there any risks or side effects?

Skin prick testing is not painful but can be itchy. It is safe and adverse reactions such as an itching body or runny nose happen very rarely.

What do I need to do before a test?

You need to stop all antihistamine tablets (cetirizine, loratadine, fexofenadine, chlorphenamine etc) 48 hours before your test as they can interfere with the results.