Skin prick test is the in-vivo method of identifying an allergen with very good sensitivity and specificity. When supplemented with relevant history, skin prick test is a better marker of allergic condition as compared to any other in-vivo or in-vitro tests available.
Advantages of skin prick test –
More reliable than any other test
Rapid results are available (within 20 minutes of tests result)
It is cheaper than any of serum test
Patient and parents are likely to be more compliant with allergen avoidance or immunotherapy after witnessing a reaction to skin prick in office.
It can be done in any age group
Disadvantages of skin prick test –
There is a theoretical risk of allergic reaction or anaphylaxis after skin prick test.
It requires healthy skin. So it can not be done in patients with severe eczema or unhealthy skin
In cases on Uncontrolled asthma, skin prick test should be avoided
Patients needs to stop antihistaminics for at least 48 hours prior to test
Patients on beta-blockers should not undergo skin prick test.