Skin Allergy Testing

Skin testing, or scratch testing, is used to test for pollen, animal, mold, or food allergies. It is as close to painless as possible.

Scratch testing is done with a little piece of white plastic like the one shown below.

Scratch testing is done with a little piece of white plastic

First the nurses will wipe your arm with alcohol wipes and then we will mark the areas where the testing will be done.

The nurses will mark the areas where the testing will be done

The plastic device is used to lightly scratch the top level of skin. This scratching does not bleed or leave a visible mark. The plastic device is used to lightly scratch the top level of skin. This scratching does not bleed but may leave a very small temporary visible mark.

The plastic device is used to lightly scratch the top level of skin

The plastic device is used to lightly scratch the top level of skin

If the test is positive, a small hive the size of a mosquito bite, like the one shown below, develops. This small mark will last at least an hour.

If the test is positive, a small hive the size of a mosquito bite develops