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Allergy Testing

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is allergy testing?

Allergy testing is a way to find out if you are allergic to something, called an allergen. Common allergens include pet dander, pollen, insect bites or stings, and certain foods, such as peanuts. Your healthcare provider will use an allergy test to check your body's response to the allergen. During the test, your provider will watch for small skin reactions that show you are probably allergic. Your provider will also watch for a rare but serious reaction called anaphylaxis that needs immediate treatment. You will need to watch for a reaction that develops later, after you are home.

How do I prepare for an allergy test?

Talk to your healthcare provider about all medicines you take. Some medicines may keep the allergy test from working correctly. You may need to stop taking certain medicines days, weeks, or months before your test. Examples include antihistamines, topical steroids, and medicines to stop vertigo or relieve insomnia. Your provider will tell you if you need to stop any medicine, and when to stop it. Your provider will also tell you when you can start taking the medicine again after your allergy test.

What are the different kinds of allergy tests?

What should I expect after my allergy test?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.