The doctor suspects that my son has allergies and recommended that we get him tested. What kind of tests should we expect?
The two main types of allergy tests are skin tests and blood tests:
- With a skin prick or scratch test, the skin is scratched or pricked with a tiny bit of liquid extract of an allergen (such as pollen or food). If the area swells up and becomes red (like a mosquito bite), the test is said to be positive, meaning that the child is allergic to that substance. Skin testing allows the doctor to see within about 15 minutes if a child is allergic to the substances tested.
- A blood test may be used if a skin test can't be done. It takes a few days to get the results of blood tests.
Talk to your doctor or allergist about the specific test that will be done.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2012
|National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.|
|American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology offers up-to-date information and a find-an-allergist search tool.|
|The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) The FAAN mession is to raise public awareness, provide advocacy and education and to advance research on behavior for all of those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.|
|All About Allergies Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control.|
|Blood Test: Immunoglobulin E (IgE) The immunoglobulin E (IgE) test is often performed as part of an initial screen for allergies. High IgE levels also may indicate a parasitic infection.|
|Basic Blood Chemistry Tests Doctors order basic blood chemistry tests to assess a wide range of conditions and the function of organs.|
|Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis) Kids with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The good news is it can be prevented and treated.|
|Food Allergies Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions in kids, so it's important to know how to feed a child with food allergies and to prevent reactions.|
|How Do Doctors Test for Food Allergies? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Environmental Control Measures Families of kids with allergies should use environmental control measures that reduce exposure to the child's allergy triggers. Here's how to begin.|
|Allergy Shots Many kids battle allergies year-round, and some can't control their symptoms with medications. For them, allergy shots (or allergen immunotherapy) can be beneficial.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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