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From Nemours' KidsHealth
- How Do Doctors Test for Food Allergies?
- What Is Skin Testing for Allergies?
- Hives (Urticaria)
- Seasonal Allergies (Hay Fever)
- Can Kids Get Allergies All Year?
- Definition: Allergy-Triggered Asthma
- How Do Doctors Test for Allergies?
- Do Allergies Cause Asthma?
- Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)
- Nut and Peanut Allergy
- Egg Allergy
- Blood Test: Allergen-Specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE)
- Asthma Basics
- Managing Asthma
- Bug Bites and Stings
- Immune System
- Milk Allergy in Infants
- All About Allergies
- Allergy Shots
- Environmental Control Measures
- Food Allergies
Trusted External Resources
How Do Doctors Test for Allergies?
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
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