Call Us Today

(828) 505-7033

Email Us

Visit Us

1550 Hendersonville Rd Suite 200 Asheville, NC 28803

Advanced OccMed

TB Skin Testing

Setting The Standard For TB Skin Testing

There are a few different options for TB skin testing, one of the most common being the Mantoux test. A TB skin test is a test used to help determine if a person has been infected with tuberculosis (TB). It is also used to help determine if a person with a positive TB skin test has developed a positive reaction to the TB vaccine.

What Is TB Skin Testing?

A TB skin test is a necessary test for diagnosing tuberculosis. It is performed by injecting a small amount of liquid into the skin on the arm and then waiting for a reaction. If the person being tested has tuberculosis, they usually have a positive reaction within 48 to 72 hours. The test is relatively quick and easy to perform and is essential for diagnosing this potentially deadly disease.  

A TB skin test shows whether your immune system has responded to the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB). It is also known as a Mantoux test, PPD test, or tuberculin test.

A tiny amount of fluid containing some aspects of the TB bacterium is injected beneath the skin as part of the test. Your immune system will thus perceive the injected fluid as a danger, resulting in a reaction.

Results will be positive or negative, depending on how the skin reacts. If your skin test results are positive, it suggests you have TB bacteria. However, additional testing is required to determine if the infection is dormant or active.

Two visits to your healthcare provider, such as Advanced OccMed, are necessary for the test. The test is on the first visit. But, the results reading is on the second.

TB Skin Testing FAQ's

Two or three doctor visits are necessary for TB skin testing. Your arm is given a fluid injection on the initial appointment. The medical professional at Advanced OccMed will evaluate your skin’s response to the injection at the second visit. If the results are still negative, a third visit (72 hours) is required.

During your initial visit you can expect the following:

  • A medical professional will clean and sterilize the skin on your lower inner arm.
  • Your lower inner arm will be injected with a small amount of fluid (called tuberculin or PPD) using a small needle.
  • The medical professional may use a pen to draw a circle around the injection site. This allows them to locate the location when determining the reaction more easily.
  • The area where they injected the fluid will develop a little bump. In a few hours, it ought to go away.

After that, you’ll revisit your doctor in 48 to 72 hours so they can check for a reaction on the arm they injected the fluid. An indication of a TB infection will result in firm swelling and redness. For a final outcome, you must attend your second visit. You must retake the test if you don’t show up within 72 hours. Results from skin tests on immunocompromised people and people with fragile skin problems might not be accurate.

A pure protein derivative (PPD) solution is injected beneath the skin during a TB skin test to gauge how your immune system reacts. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes TB, produces PPD, a protein.

You won’t get sick from it because it isn’t a live bacteria. However, your skin will react to the antigens if you’ve ever been exposed to the TB bacterium. This reaction will be a firm, red bump three days after the injection.

TB skin testing is a straightforward, risk-free procedure with infrequent adverse effects. Swelling, redness, and itching are common side effects that are primarily related to the severity of the reaction and may go away in a few weeks.

Although rare, strong responses might cause uncomfortable swelling several centimeters in size, blistering, or ulceration. Almost no scarring will remain after healing.


A positive TB skin test result means a TB infection in the body. It can be dormant and not cause symptoms, or it might already be active and cause complications.

However, it's critical to keep in mind that TB is curable. Therefore, following a doctor's advice can guarantee the best outcome and the most efficient course of therapy.

Speak to your healthcare provider if you still have concerns or questions. Advanced OccMed is there for you. Our team of experts wants to help you prepare and understand what is involved during TB testing.

Scroll To Top