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A 30-year-old member asked:

Can skin prick testing for food allergies be 100% reliable?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brian Novick
Allergy and Immunology 43 years experience
No: No test is 100% reliable but depending on the history of your reaction, a negative skin test can be reassuring...And a "strongly" positive skin test reaction is usually diagnostic.
Dr. Andrew Murphy
Allergy and Immunology 29 years experience
History: Food allergy diagnosis is very dependent upon the clinical history and is supported by appropriate skin and / or blood testing for food allergy. Food allergy testing, in general, runs very high false positives, up to 40-60%, so random food test are not helpful.
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Allergy and Immunology 44 years experience
Nothing is perfect: No test is 100% reliable - neither skin testing nor blood testing. That's why allergists try to order relevant tests selected based on a comprehensive medical history and physical examination. The results must be interpreted & used as clues to a solution. They're not an answer in themselves. I'm frequently called by doctors who order allergy tests & then want me interpret them over the phone.

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Similar questions

NY
A female asked:

Are skin prick tests accurate for food allergies?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gerald Lee
Allergy and Immunology 17 years experience
Yes, for ruling out: Skin prick testing is used to see if you might be at risk of developing hives or anaphylaxis after eating a food. If a skin test is negative, it is unlikely that food is causing that type of reaction. If it positive, you are at higher risk of having hives or anaphylaxis, but there is a chance that it is falsely positive.

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Last updated Dec 9, 2013

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