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Tuberculosis Skin Test (PPD Skin Test) (cont.)

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Are there risks from having the PPD skin test?

There is a very slight risk of having a severe reaction to the test, including swelling and redness of the arm, particularly in people who have had tuberculosis or been infected previously and in those who have previously had the BCG vaccine. Allergic reactions are also rare complications.

Live bacteria are not used in the test, so there is no chance of developing tuberculosis from the test.

Medically reviewed by Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, MBA, FAAFP; American Board of Family Medicine


"PPD Skin Test"
National Institutes of Health Herchline, Thomas, and Judith K. Amorosa. "Tuberculosis." May 18, 2010. <>.

Switzerland. "Global Tuberculosis Control: A Short Update to the 2009 Report." World Health Organization. <>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Tuberculin Skin Testing." June 1, 2009. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/30/2014

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