Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, the cost of testing covers the cost of the material used.
We offer skin testing to food, seasonal, and environmental allergies. Skin testing is performed on patients’ forearms (or upper back in certain cases) and takes 15 minutes. A plastic device is used to quickly “poke” the skin. Patients are advised not to scratch the area of skin testing so as not to interfere with results.
There are no age limits to skin testing.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), or allergy shots, involves coming in for anywhere from 1-4 injections weekly for 5 months and then less frequently for the next 5 years. We have patients as young as 5 or 6 years old on SCIT, however, parents and patients must understand the protocol and can start therapy when they are ready.
Patch testing is done to assess for triggers of contact dermatitis. It involves placing patches with substances on patients’ backs and/or arms. Patches are placed on Monday, removed on Wednesday, and read on Friday. For more information on patch testing.
We order blood work to evaluate both the quantity of your immune cells and their ability to function. Based on your clinical symptoms and your test results our immunologists will discuss with you treatment options.
Food challenges are performed to assess a patient’s food allergy. Skin testing is performed on the day of every food challenge. If the skin testing is reassuring, the patient will be given increasing doses of the food at predetermined intervals and observed for a period of time after the last dose. The entire challenge can last anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on your provider so bring toys/books/games to keep you occupied. Patients must bring the food they are eating to the office on the day of a challenge.
Most colleges have health centers where allergy shots can be administered. If not, you can find a local allergy office in the area that will administer shots. You can bring your bottles and shot sheets with you and make follow up visits at CAAC when you are home from college on break.
Please bring all your medical records, shot sheets, and vials with you to our office. We can continue to use your former bottles until they run out, and then we will make new bottles with our formula that are similar in concentration and antigen to what you were previously receiving at your former allergist’s office for ease of continuity of care.
IgG testing has no clinical validity in the assessment of food allergies. It merely tests for foods that are consumed regularly. We do not recommend, order, or interpret these lab tests when we assess our patients for IgE-mediated food allergies.