Home Family Does Allergy Testing Hurt? – What They Tell You & What It Really Feels Like

Does Allergy Testing Hurt? – What They Tell You & What It Really Feels Like

by TerriAnn
Allergy Testing on the Arm

Finding Out If Allergy Testing Hurts . . .

Not too long ago, we brought our daughter in to get some allergy testing done. She kept asking me what it would feel like and if it would hurt. When I was young, I remember it feeling like a quick needle prick (over and over again as the nurse did it with each allergen in what seemed like super sonic mode). So, I told her it would hurt just for a second since they only needed to scratch just the top of the skin.

After arriving at the doctor’s office, she again asked if it’d hurt. The doctor said ‘yes’ but assured her that it wasn’t bad at all. As we sat down for the test, Munchkin again asked the nurse the same question. The nurse said it felt like a hairbrush on your skin.

Allergy Testing on the Arm Allergy Testing on the Arm

The nurse then pulled out this contraption that had 12 protruding plastic rod, each with a tiny needle on the end. My daughter prepared herself, just as she would a for a shot. Instead of a quick poke, though, the nurse proceeded to roll the needles over her arm. She then did this 2-3 times on each arm (they do it on the back if there’s not enough room).

Then, she took out a single applicator and kind of dug it in and swirl it around to make sure the control histamine really got in. My daughter’s face changed drastically as she said, “OW!” in a stern voice. After that, she calmly waited the twenty minutes for the results. Turns out the poor thing is allergic to practically every tree known to man! I felt so bad for her 🙁

Allergy Testing on the Arm

What did it feel like though? I was about to find out as I had my test set up for the following week. Did it feel like a hairbrush? As if! Those things hurt! It wasn’t just an poke and it was over with. No, it was like “Y-E-O-U-C-H” in slow motion. Just like my daughter, instead of one cry of pain, I kind of just stated it. Very weird, indeed. That wasn’t the worst of it though.

Apparently I was VERY allergic to some things. The twenty minutes I had to wait felt like forever as my arms began swelling like the Michelin man. Even after the nurse cleaned up my arm and put Benadryl gel on, it continued to itch and the welts stayed there for another week or so.

Allergy Testing on the Arm Allergy Testing on the Arm

So next time someone asks you if allergy testing hurts, tell them ‘yes’ and that a horrible twenty minutes might follow. Still, you’ll learn a lot to prevent allergic reactions in the future and that they won’t have to be subjected to the torture for many, many more years if at all. Oh, and compared to this, shots will feel like nothing!

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Stephanie July 17, 2013 - 12:56 pm

Why could I have not seen this before doing my allergy testing?! Just like you said, everyone says oh its just a little prick and its over… UH… yeah maybe if you aren’t allergic to anything. Luckily for me I was allergic to everything so the next 20 minutes were terrible. Which is also why I keep putting off taking my daughter.
It sucks that your daughter is allergic to basically everything, but at least now you guys can prevent it!

TerriAnn van Gosliga July 22, 2013 - 3:49 pm

Aww, I’m sorry you had such an experience as well. Why aren’t more people up front with what the experience is like. I understand that it can cause extra anxiety but it’s better than being totally caught off-guard! I hope they helped you figured out what allergies you have and how to curb the effects As for your daughter, I hope her experience isn’t as extreme!

Rosey July 18, 2013 - 7:47 am

Yee-ouch. I know it’s good to know, but I’m a big baby and again looking at the pics am thinking ouch!

TerriAnn van Gosliga July 22, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Once it’s over, it’s over for a while though. We feel a lot better so those awful 20 minutes are well worth it!

Addison April 25, 2018 - 4:51 pm

Cool beans

Addison April 25, 2018 - 4:52 pm

ur, a big baby!! LOL! me too when it comes to needles!!

Addison April 25, 2018 - 4:49 pm

I am getting allergy testing in a couple days! I can’t say this makes me feel any better but cross my fingers it will make me feel better!!

TerriAnn April 26, 2018 - 10:25 am

At least you’ll know what to expect. They do the test really quickly so just grit your teeth and it should be fine. 🙂

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