Venom Testing basics //

Venom testing is done to determine whether or not you are allergic to the venom of a number of stinging insects such as bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The testing begins just like scratch testing; a very small amount of the venom is pricked into your arm with an applicator. As multiple venoms will be tested, multiple applications will be done at the same time. You can expect a reaction in about 15-20 minutes. In this case, the reaction should just be a raised red hive that may itch. This kind of testing is very safe and involves incredibly small amounts of the venom. As such, it will not cause a reaction like being stung. If there is no reaction from the scratch tests, then you will have to move on to intradermal testing.

Intradermal testing consists of injecting a very small amount of venom just below your skin. Again, your doctor will expect a reaction within 20 minutes or so. For each test that doesn't produce a reaction, the test will be re-administered at a slightly higher dose. This continues up until a maximum dose is reached, after which there is no more testing. This maximum dose is still much smaller than the amount of venom that would be injected if you were actually stung. This testing is quite safe. Due to the repetitive nature of this testing, it can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.