Skin Prick Testing

skin-prick-test

 

South Island Allergy Service tests specifically for FOOD and AERO allergens (the predominant problem areas in New Zealand). 

These are:

  • Birch
  • Grasses
  • English plantain
  • Cat hair
  • Dog hair
  • Dust mites

Skin prick testing is performed by dropping a small amount of the allergens onto the forearm, and then a device is used to push it below the skin. The test is slightly uncomfortable but certainly not painful.

In some cases, after discussion with the allergy specialist, it may be appropriate to perform additional tests e.g. blood tests for specific allergens.

If you take anti-histamine medication then please stop this 5 days before your appointment.

Please note:

Skin prick testing is not useful for symptoms that are solely gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, bloating or irregular bowel habit) and this may indicate an Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. Although we are happy to discuss the management of this, keeping a food diary and identification of triggers is a more accurate step and you may wish to consult your GP further.