Preparing For Your Appointment

Most patients are referred for an allergy assessment and this will involve allergy skin testing. You should know that this procedure is safe and can be employed even in patients with very severe allergies; in occasional cases, Dr Cross may advise against testing and suggest alternatives. Details of the testing method are here.

We test all ages. The majority of children, including infants, tolerate the procedure very well indeed.  We experience the greatest difficulty with children who have been given inaccurate information about testing, and arrive in a very apprehensive state. We respectfully suggest that you limit the information that you give to your child; our skin testing technician (Nancy) will explain the procedure to them.

In order for allergy testing to give the best results, it is important that you or your child avoid taking antihistamine medications in the days leading up to the appointment. These drugs can interfere with the skin reaction to the test materials.  For a full list of medications and the suggested periods that you should refrain from them, see this link.

In most cases we use the forearms for allergy tests. In smaller children, we may use the upper arms as well. In the case of infants, the back may be preferred. Bear in mind that skin lotions can make it very difficult to perform the procedure, so please avoid applying them on the day of the appointment.  Dressing in a garment with short sleeves is very helpful.

As part of his evaluation, Dr Cross will enquire about medications that you or your child are taking (or have taken in the last few months).  A list of medications with doses is of great help: you can obtain such a list of prescribed medications that you have taken from your pharmacist.

© David Cross 2016