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    If You Get Skin Testing for Allergies

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    How to Get Ready for a Test

    Tell your doctor about all medicines you're taking, including over-the-counter products. Some drugs can affect the results, so your doctor will give you a list of medicines to avoid before the test.

    If you can't stop taking a medication, your doctor or nurse may do a separate test to find out if that drug will hamper the results.

    Since allergy medicines, such as OTC antihistamines, stop allergic reactions, you shouldn't take them for a few days before your appointment. You need to let your body react to the allergens in the test.

    Is It Safe?

    A skin test may be mildly irritating, but most people say it doesn't hurt. Although you're coming into contact with things you could be allergic to, they're very small amounts.

    Whole-body reactions to allergyskin tests are rare, but let your doctor know right away if you have:

    After Your Test

    The doctor or nurse will clean any extracts and ink marks off your skin with alcohol. You may need to use a mild cortisone cream to ease itching.

    If you get a patch test, you'll go home with bandages on your skin. Don't get these areas wet -- no baths or swimming. When you go back to the doctor in a couple of days, he'll take another look at your skin.

    Your doctor or allergist will use the results of your test to come up with a treatment plan for you.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on September 24, 2014
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