First Appointment Information

Your first visit to the allergist will take approximately two to three hours. You may be asked to stop taking antihistamines or other decongestant drugs prior to your visit. Some drugs may interfere with the results of your tests, and getting the most accurate results from your initial assessment is very important. If you have any questions regarding medication you may be taking, please contact one of our nurses.

The allergist will conduct a patient history including an analysis of your symptoms, a relevant physical exam and a thorough environmental evaluation. The allergist will also conduct a skin test / allergy test to determine your specific allergens. Common Allergies in New Mexico include, Juniper, Mulberry, Cottonwood, Elm, Tumbleweed (Russian Thistle), Sage and Wingscale (Chamisa). This skin test is effective to evaluate both inhalant allergens and food allergens.

A skin test is a simple procedure that is best described as tiny scratches made on the surface of the skin on your back. The scratches are conducted with a small instrument similar to a plastic toothpick, which contains trace amounts of a single allergen. If you are allergic to a substance, a small mosquito bite-like bump will appear. For those patients who do not react to this type of skin test, an intradermal process may be performed. The allergist can determine your unique allergy profile and the severity of your allergies based on the results of the skin test. Because everyone has specific allergic triggers, knowing what you are allergic to is important for effective treatment.

Once the allergist identifies the allergens that are causing your symptoms, a treatment plan can be recommended. These treatment plans include avoidance of allergens, medications, and/or allergy shots (immunotherapy).

Allergy Test Recommendations

  • Eat your normal breakfast
  • Refrain from wearing scented lotions, perfumes and colognes
  • Allow extra time for increased morning traffic
  • Wear a two-piece outfit for your own comfort and convenience during skin testing
  • Bring snacks/ lunch (Especially if you are diabetic)
  • Bring books, quiet activities, a tablet or laptop (We have free Wi-fi!)
  • Bring a friend or family member if you have complex issues. If they cannot accompany you, they may listen by speaker phone when your test results and your treatment plans are discussed.  We cannot review the visit with them after you leave the office.
  • Keep an open mind – try not to come in with a diagnosis and cure in mind (The internet does not always have the correct answers)
allergy test
allergy testing

First Appointment FAQs

Skin testing is a method of testing for allergic antibodies.  A small amount of suspected allergens are introduced onto the skin one at a time on the back.  The development of reactions to the allergens occurs over the next 15-20 minutes.  They are carefully measured and recorded.  Interpretation of the skin tests requires the allergist’s skill in matching the results the history of allergy-like symptoms.
We first take your allergy history and determine the extent of testing needed.  There may be respiratory symptoms that require lung function testing in addition to allergy skin testing.  Patients often think the first appointment will be quick; however, a thorough work up is necessary.  The first visit may take up to 2-3 hours in the office. Please clear your schedule for half a day.  You should be able to return to work or school after the appointment.
We understand that a week without your allergy medication can be torturous, but they interfere with skin testing.  Without accurate results, your allergy evaluation will be inaccurate.  Medications that should be stopped are listed in the medication list (click to link).  There are a few prescription medications that may interfere with the testing.  It is important that you bring a complete list of your medications to the visit.
Some insurance plans require a referral for a patient to see a specialist.  If your plan does, please call your primary care physician (PCP) as they are the ones who will need the referral to your insurance company for approval to be seen in our office. Without a referral, the cost of the visit may not be covered and the patient will be financially responsible for the visit and testing.
Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to the visit.  Due to the length of the visit, do not bring other children who require supervision during the prolonged visit.
Please recognize that many patients with respiratory allergy and/or asthma are sensitive to fragrances.  Please refrain from using scented skin care products, colognes and perfumes during your visit. This applies not only to patients but to anyone who accompanies patients to their appointments.

Medication List

Medications that can interfere with skin tests include –

Prescription antihistamines:

  • levocetirizine (Xyzal)
  • desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • hydroxyzine (Atarax)

Over-the-counter antihistamines:

  • loratadine (Claritin, Alavert)
  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others)
  • chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
  • cetirizine (Zyrtec, others)
  • fexofenadine (Allegra)

Certain heartburn medications:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • ranitidine (Zantac)
  • famotidine (Pepcid)

The previously listed medications does not include everything that might interfere with testing. Some medications used to treat depression and other mental disorders may interfere but we do not recommend stopping these (or trying to review them over the phone when trying to schedule).

Severe skin conditions, recent sunburn/tanning and uncontrolled asthma are other situations when allergy skin testing cannot be performed at the initial visit. Refrain from sun exposure to the back and arms for at least a week.

  • Do not stop steroid nasal sprays:
    • Nasonex
    • QNasl
    • fluticasone (Flonase)
    • triamcionolone (Nasacort)
    • flunisolide (Nasalide).

Do not stop any asthma medications!

Singulair does not interfere with testing.

Bring a complete list of all your medications, including over the counter medications to the visit.


We take pride in helping you and your family with ear, nose, and throat problems. Whether you have a minor condition or your symptons are severe, our team of specialists can help you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and discover how we can help you.