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Allergy Skin Testing

Dr. Mardiney and his team perform a variety of allergy skin tests. We perform patch skin testing, chemical skin testing and seasonal allergy testing as well as food, drug and insect allergy testing. Skin tests give fast results. They usually cost less than blood tests. Some medicines interfere with these tests, and allergy tests should always be performed by someone with lots of training.

Blood tests involve a single needle-stick and medicine does not interfere with test results. However, it takes a long time to obtain results and there can be false positives. Blood tests are more expensive than skin tests. There are many types of allergy blood tests and some are more helpful than others. Test results alone cannot diagnose allergies. Dr. Mardiney will interpret all test results together with your medical history.

He uses two types of skin tests. During the first type, he places a drop of the suspected allergen on the pricked surface of the skin on either the forearm or back. He tests for many suspected allergens at the same time. If you are allergic to one of the allergens, the test spot will develop redness and swelling. Dr. Mardiney might also recommend the second type of test. He injects a small amount of the suspected allergen into the skin of the arm or forearm, testing for several suspected allergens at the same time.

How long do skin test results take?

For both types of skin tests, positive reactions typically appear within 20 minutes, although redness and swelling can sometimes occur several hours after testing. This delayed reaction usually disappears within 48 hours, but you should report it to the allergy doctor or nurse.

Don’t suffer with allergies or asthma any longer. Call Advanced Allergy & Asthma Centers at 443-987-6998 in Bel Air or 443-519-2128 in Lutherville and Towson. Or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We also welcome patients from Baltimore and Carney.