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Skin Prick Test: A Brief Walk-Through

Today's blog post is a guest post by Euan's ENT Surgery & Clinic Pte Ltd's Staff Nurse Erica Tan.



Skin prick tests offer a quick insight as to whether you are allergic to any specific allergens. During the test, your skin will be exposed to suspected allergens and then observed for signs of allergic reactions within 20-30 minutes of test administration. Having knowledge of which allergens one is allergic to would allow better control of symptoms through avoidance of the allergen(s), reduction or elimination of symptoms via targeted treatment such as immunotherapy.

Let us give you a brief run-through of the test, and what to expect and prepare before, during and after the test.

Preparation prior to the test:

- Abstain from antihistamine medications for 7 days prior to the test as they might cause false negative results.

What to expect during the test:

- Skin on the forearm is outlined and pricked with sterile lancets dipped in allergen solution. Minimal discomfort is expected, akin to an ant's bite.

- 20 minutes of wait time following the pricking to allow sufficient exposure of allergen to the skin. During the 20 minutes, there might be reactions such as small bumps (wheals) and redness seen on and around the pricked areas. If this is seen, it indicates a positive result for an allergic reaction.

- Monitoring will be done for any severe reaction.

- The size of these bumps and areas of redness will then be measured and recorded down. These results will then be interpreted and reviewed by the doctor or allergy nurse. Recommendations for treatment will be made if there are any positive allergic reactions.

Post-test expectation and management

- After the test, medical cream will be applied to help soothe the itchiness and bring down the bumps. You may also take an antihistamine to further alleviate the itching and swelling.

So dear friends, if you are interested in doing a skin prick test, do contact us today

Have a great weekend!

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