Skin Prick Testing is a simple procedure to identify IgE-mediated allergy. This test is available and can be done on all age groups including babies from as young as 6 months of age. It is a painless procedure though an anxious disposition can make it a distressing experience. The forearm skin is pricked in a single action with a lancet. The lancet has a tiny drop of a specific protein extract (allergen). Almost immediately after pricking the forearm will become itchy, very itchy if you have allergies, where the skin develops a localized reaction, like a mosquito bite. The test is read 10 minutes after pricking by measuring the wheal size as a cross millimeter diameter. After the test we usually apply a low potency topical steroid to settle the itch.
A standard test includes a range of common food and environmental allergies with a wider range of allergens available.
This test is a medical procedure and has Medicare rebate.