Elizabeth Otero, M.D.

What is a puncture test?

A test called the skin puncture test is the most common type of skin test. For this test, a drop of allergen extract is put on the multi-test puncture device and the puncture device is pressed on your skin. This lets the allergen get slightly under the skin. The test can also be done with a pricking device that has been presoaked in the allergen extract. Only the top layer of skin is pricked. The test is usually done on the back or the forearm. The skin test is ready to read in about 15 minutes. If you are allergic to the allergen in any of the extracts, a red bump that looks like a mosquito bite will appear at the spot where the extract was placed. If the puncture/prick test is negative or the test results are not clear, a more sensitive test called an intradermal test may be done. For the intradermal test, a very small amount of allergen is injected under the skin of the upper arm and you get results within 15-20 minutes.

Intradermal skin test are not done for food allergies.