Skin Prick Test Singapore
What is a Skin Prick Test?
A skin prick test is an accurate and reliable test to identify allergies such as dust mites, pet, mold and pollen allergies. It is important to test for these allergies because they are potentially treatable and curable with immunotherapy (click here to read about Sublingual Immunotherapy).
This is particularly useful for patients who suffer from allergic rhinitis, asthma, urticaria (skin rash) and atopic eczema.
Skin prick test is a simple and quick test that can generate results within 20 minutes.
How is Skin Prick Test Done?
Skin prick test is usually performed on the inner forearm or upper back.
The test site is first cleaned with alcohol. Small markings will then be drawn on your skin and a drop of allergen extract is applied to the marked area. Tiny lancets that barely penetrate the skin surface will be used to introduce a minute amount of the allergens into the skin.
Is it painful?
Skin prick test is not painful. There will be no bleeding and most patients report only mild discomfort at the test area which subsides quickly. Your skin may itch where the allergen is placed if you have sensitivity to the particular allergen.
How long does it take?
The test typically takes about 15-20 minutes.
Your skin will then be observed for specific skin reactions, also known as wheals.
Wheals appear as red, raised and itchy bumps that may look like mosquito bites. The bump’s size will then be measured to confirm the allergic reaction.
How should I prepare for the test?
Oral anti-histamine medication should be avoided for at least 3-7 days prior to the test as it may affect the results.
Is this Skin Allergy Test safe?
Skin prick test is a very safe test. The amount of allergens tested on the skin is very minimal. The test is only performed in the clinic so that our doctor will be able to monitor and look out for possible severe allergic reaction. Severe reaction to skin prick test is extremely rare.
Is Skin Prick Test suitable for Everyone?
Skin prick test may not be suitable for those who have had life threatening allergic reactions to certain allergens because the test would be too risky for them.
It is also not suitable if you suffer from severe eczema or psoriasis on the areas that will be used for skin prick test, or if you are unable to stop oral anti-histamine medication prior to the test.
An IgE blood test will be a suitable alternative for these patients.