Dr Andrew Baker - Immunologist and Allergy Specialist - North Shore Auckland
Private Service, Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine
Skin Testing for Allergy
Skin prick tests involve placing on your skin drops of extracts from things you may be allergic to. We then scratch the skin through the drop. If you are allergic, a small red lump will form on your skin after a few minutes. Don't worry - it goes away a few minutes later.
Skin tests are only of value if interpreted with respect to a careful history of a patient's clinical symptoms. They are not a diagnosis by themselves, and should only be used after carefully listening to a patient's symptoms.
A negative skin test does not completely rule out allergy, but does make it much less likely. A positive skin test does not prove allergy, but does make it more likely, and in some situations can provide the clinching piece of evidence for a diagnosis.