You may not need allergy testing if you have
mild allergies that are easily controlled with medicine or lifestyle
Skin tests for allergies:
Are the easiest and least expensive method
for identifying allergies in most people.
Are more reliable than
blood tests for identifying common inhaled (airborne) allergies, such as
pollens, dust, mold, and pet dander.
Cannot tell whether a person
is reacting to a certain food. Further testing (such as an elimination diet)
may be needed to identify this.
Can be unpleasant for children and
May take as long as 3 to 4 hours.
Blood tests for allergies:
Are less sensitive than skin tests.
So it is possible for people to have a positive reaction to a skin test
but have a negative reaction to a blood test.
Are not affected by
antihistamines or tricyclic antidepressants, so people
do not need to stop taking these medicines while being tested.
be a good choice if you have very sensitive skin or a skin problem, such as
eczema, that would make it hard to see whether you
have a reaction to a skin test.
Will not cause an allergic
reaction. They may be used if you have had a serious allergic reaction in the
Cost more than skin tests.
You may need to be tested for a latex allergy
before having a major surgery if you have had frequent exposure to latex.
Allergy blood tests are used for this. If you have a latex allergy, latex
products should not be used during your surgery or recovery.
blood tests, such as fluoro-allergosorbent testing (FAST), multiple antigen
simultaneous testing (MAST), and radioallergosorbent testing (RAST), are
sometimes used to check for allergens.
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis:
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.