There are many ways that allergies can be evaluated, and some people are not familiar with the different types of tests available. The way that allergy testing is performed has changed slightly over the years, allowing the procedure to be relatively painless for most people. Let’s review the different types of testing done in the allergy clinic!

Skin prick testing: Skin testing, also referred to as “scratch” testing is the most common way that we evaluate allergies. Skin testing involves a small amount of allergens being “pricked” onto the surface of your skin, often with a small plastic device that looks like a toothpick. If you are sensitized to an allergen, this will trigger a reaction on your skin and cause a wheal or hive, similar to an insect bite. Skin testing usually takes about 15 minutes. Skin prick testing is performed for evaluation of possible environmental triggers such as pollens, molds, and animal dander. Skin prick testing is also performed for food allergy if there is a history of allergic reactions to a food (called IgE-mediated food allergy). Skin testing to foods can cause false positives and testing alone does not mean you are allergic to a food. Drug allergies such as penicillin are also evaluated via skin testing.

Intradermal testing: Intradermal testing can also be performed for evaluation of environmental triggers, insect allergy, or drug allergy. This involves a small amount of allergen placed just below the surface of the skin with a very small needle.

Blood tests: Blood tests can be performed for environmental allergens, insect venoms, and food allergies. Blood testing measures allergic antibodies in your blood. Like skin testing, blood testing to foods without a history of reaction to food can sometimes give false positives, and a positive test alone does not diagnose food allergy.

Challenge tests: Challenge tests are done in-office and involve the allergen being taken by mouth (such as foods of drug allergies). Challenge tests are among the most accurate tests to diagnose food allergy, and can help differentiate false positives or if someone has outgrown their food allergy.

Patch testing: Chemical patch testing is a way to evaluate for chemicals or metals that could be causing allergic reactions on the skin. Patch testing involves application of a chemical patch onto the back, with delayed readings in office in 2-3 days or longer, depending on the situation.

Caution!!! There are several tests available over the counter or online labeled as “food sensitivity tests”. These tests are not recommended and do not provide accurate results. Other tests such as food IgG testing, mail-in fingerstick allergy testing, kinesiology muscle testing, hair analysis, ALCAT testing, or neutralization testing are not recommended due to lack of scientific evidence that they correlate with any food allergies.

Your allergy provider will work with you to determine what type of testing is necessary to determine the cause of your symptoms and help guide further treatment.

10/1/2015 – 6/15/2020

Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute Provides Notification of Data Security Incident

Peoria, AZ – Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute (“Institute”) announced today a data security incident that may have impacted limited protected health information belonging to Institute patients. The Institute takes the privacy and security of all information very seriously.

The Institute learned that certain data made publicly available under the name of a different organization for a brief period in September 2020, and may have included Institute data. Upon discovery, the Institute immediately began investigating, with the assistance of a third-party forensic security firm, to determine the scope of this incident. Based on this investigation, the Institute confirmed on March 8, 2021, that the available data included limited information related to Institute patients that received services between October 1, 2015 and June 15, 2020. 

The personal information available included individuals’ first and last name in combination with their patient identification number, provider name, health insurance information, and treatment cost information. It is important to note that the Institute has no evidence to suggest that any personal information has been misused. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, the Institute is providing notice to those affected individuals. The notices include information about this incident and about steps that potentially impacted individuals can take to monitor and help protect their information. The Institute takes the security of all information very seriously and has taken steps to enhance security measures to help prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

The Institute recommends that individuals remain vigilant in regularly reviewing and monitoring their explanation of benefits statements to guard against any unauthorized transactions or activity. The Institute has established a dedicated assistance line to address any questions individuals may have which can be reached at 855-654-0915, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mountain Time. The Institute may also be contacted by mail at 13965 N 75th Ave, Peoria, AZ 85381. 



The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for many, but it can also be a time of anxiety for children who have asthma or allergies.  Help your child walk confidently into school this year, knowing that they are prepared as possible.

1. Keep on top of medication before the school year starts.

Make sure that your child is on top of their necessary medication before the first week of school arrives. Making a routine of knowing what medication to take when can relieve anxiety surrounding taking medication at school.

2. Get a tour.

Contact the school to get a tour of your child’s classroom and the nurse’s office.  Going into school before the school year starts will calm your child’s nerves, by allowing them to know what to expect when they need to go to the nurse’s office for help or medication.

 3. Have a Signal.

It would also be a great idea to talk to your child’s teacher about a discrete signal that the two of them can use when your child needs to go get medication from the nurse. This way your child can get the help they need, when they need it, without drawing attention to themselves.

4. Know Their Limitations.

It’s important for all children, even those with exercise-induced asthma, to get regular exercise. Talk to your chid’s doctor about what types of physical activity are less likely to trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, and consider encouraging your child to participate in those activities. Make sure that your child uses their inhaler before they exercise and that they have plenty of water to keep hydrated!



If you or your child is in need of an appointment with one of our allergy or asthma specialists, contact us today for an allergy or asthma appointment!






The monsoon season is an eerily beautiful time of year that brings with it storms and sweet relief from the scorching summer heat. Unfortunately, with the monsoons also come monsoon season allergies, infection and issues with digestion for many.

Whipping winds with pollen, dirt and dust particles are the perfect recipe to aggravate your allergies. Not only this, but the rain and wet clothes can lead to the spread of infection during the monsoon season. An unanticipated effect of the monsoons are digestion issues.

Here are some tips to keep yourself as healthy as possible and keep control of your monsoon season allergies.

  1. Watch What You Eat.

    If you’re eating food from the garden or if you’re buying food from a food cart on the side of the road, dust and other particles are more likely to be in those foods. Be aware of this and counter it by making sure you’re rinsing food off food as much as possible before consuming it.

  2. Limit your exposure.

    Roll up the windows while you’re in the car, keep windows closed and make sure to shower every night before going to bed, to keep away and rinse off any allergens that may be aggravating your symptoms.

  3. Wash your hands.

    While dust storms do kick up a great deal of dust and allergens, washing hands before every meal can do a great deal for those with allergies from the dust storms.  Washing your hands will keep away many infections and rinse off allergens that may be on your hands and arms from being out in the dust storms.

Are you suffering from monsoon season allergies or asthma? Contact Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute to schedule your allergy or asthma appointment today!