RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
The most common side effect of skin testing is slightly swollen, red, itchy bumps (wheals). These wheals may be most noticeable during the test. They usually go away within a few hours, although they can persist for a day or two. A mild cortisone cream can help ease the itching and redness.
Rarely, allergy skin tests can produce a severe, immediate allergic reaction, so it's important to have skin tests performed at an office where appropriate emergency equipment and medications are available. If you develop a severe allergic reaction in the days after a skin test, call your doctor right away.
- Tips to remember: What is allergy testing? American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/whatisallergytesting.stm. Accessed Jan. 20, 2011.
- Allergy testing. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/public/background/testing.htm. Accessed Jan. 20, 2011.
- Nolte HN, et al. Overview of skin testing for allergic disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 20, 2011.
- Li JT (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 25, 2011.