Skin Prick Test

From Health Facts
Jump to: navigation, search
Latest Edit: Iva Lloyd, ND 2013-03-09 (EDT)

Skin tests (either intradermal or skin prick) are widely used to determine food allergies. During a skin test (ST), a small amount of allergen is injected under the skin, and then the signs of a reaction (e.g. hives, swelling, redness) at the site of injection is monitored.[1]


  • Simple, rapid results, low cost
  • Ability to test multiple allergens at one time.
  • High degree of sensitivity


  • Skin prick test is contraindicated in pregnancy, generalized skin disease and with current use of antihistamines.
  • The sensitivity and specificity statistics for ST can vary significantly depending on the allergen extract used, site of testing (forearm, upper back, lower back).[2]


  1. Trevorrow M, Marsden T. Summer 2012 Food Allergies and Sensitivities: Observing the Complete Picture Vital Link;19(2):33-39.
  2. Brandtzaeg P. Food allergy: separating the science from the mythology. Nature Reviews: Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2010;7: 380-399.