A consultation with the doctor to evaluate your medical history will be followed by a physical examination. Based on your medical history and current symptoms, the allergist will decide what type of allergy tests you require. On your initial appointment, the nurse or medical assistant will provide all necessary tests, and the doctor will read the results. At the conclusion of your appointment, you will receive a detailed summary of all the tests performed as well as a list of the outcomes. We advise that you anticipate your first appointment being between one and two hours.
Anywhere from 8 to 80 different allergens are tested. It will take the nurse or medical assistant about 2-3 minutes to place the allergens on your skin. Generally, the prick or scratch test will be placed on your back. You will feel a slight prick as these are placed on your skin with a plastic applicator. If you are allergic to any antigens placed on your skin, a small red bump will appear, and the area may itch. The doctor will read the results of these tests in 15-20 minutes and determine if any additional testing is done. Stronger testing is done by an intradermal test that places a small amount of the antigen under your skin with a very thin needle. These tests will also be read in 15-20 minutes by the doctor.
Skin testing is covered through most insurance plans. To get individualized coverage information, you should check with your insurance company. Your insurance policy may require deductibles to be paid or that you have a referral from your Primary Care Physician before your policy would cover your appointment.