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Doctor insights on: Skin Prick Test Vs Blood Test For Allergies

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To detect allergies in an 18 month old, is a blood test or skin prick test more accurate?

To detect allergies in an 18 month old, is a blood test or skin prick test more accurate?

Skin prick test: Start a visit to the allergist and skin prick testing. Too many times doing a wide allergy panel on blood gives many false positive results ...Read more

Dr. John Chiu
2,638 Doctors shared insights

Allergies (Definition)

Allergies occur when your immune system is triggered by envirionmental factors it should ignore--for example, pollen in the air, or dander on a cat or dog--and creates cells to fight against them. An allergic reaction typically causes itching, congestion, or drainage, and ...Read more


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I asked my dr about getting blood test for allergies & she said instead she'll refer me for regular skin test at allergist. Is that really better?

I asked my dr about getting blood test for allergies & she said instead she'll refer me for regular skin test at allergist. Is that really better?

Yes: A skin test is usually more sensitive than a blood test for allergies. In addition, an allergist has the training to identify which allergies to test for and how to interpret the results of either skin or blood testing. ...Read more

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I had a blood test for allergies. They came back positive for milk casein then had a skin test that was negative. I'm confused. What do I believe?

I had a blood test for allergies. They came back positive for milk casein then had a skin test that was negative. I'm confused. What do I believe?

Symptoms?: Allergists must weigh the results of both skin and blood tests against your own experience with milk casein. This is why the specialty is so challenging. Life is difficult enough without avoiding something that doesn't actually make you sick just on the basis of tests that have many false-positives. ...Read more

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What's more reliable for determining allergies: skin test or blood test?

What's more reliable for determining allergies: skin test or blood test?

Gold standard: This skin test remains the gold standard but these days the blood test has become just about as good. In either case the allergens ordered should be guided by your history and exposures. ...Read more

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Septoplast/turbinect 4mth ago-went well. 3weeks ago had cold. Now constant clear, sticky mucus & stuffy. No allergies-skin & blood test. Tried saline?

Septoplast/turbinect 4mth ago-went well. 3weeks ago had cold. Now constant clear, sticky mucus & stuffy. No allergies-skin & blood test. Tried saline?

See doctor: Cold symptoms usually subside after about 10 days. You likely have a sinus infection and need to consult your doctor for treatment. ...Read more

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Is an IGE allergy blood test as accurate as a skin test? My skin test from 1 year prior to IGE blood test showed additional allergens.

Likely complementary: Although prick skin test is considered better in detecting food allergies the results of blood tests are complementary. I often order the blood test first in a case of a food suspected of causing anaphylaxis. If the result is negative or equivocal, then I would proceed with a skin test prior to a food challenge. The results are at times discrepant. ...Read more

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Red patches all over and swelling in skin looks like allergy patches blood test done nothing found a bit worried itchy feelings aswell regularly?

Red patches all over and swelling in skin looks like allergy patches blood test done nothing found a bit worried itchy feelings aswell regularly?

Red Patches: Hives (medically known as urticaria) appear on the skin as wheals that are red, very itchy, smoothly elevated areas of skin often with a blanched center. They appear in varying shapes and sizes, from a few millimeters to several inches in diameter anywhere on the body. They can be caused by meds, infections, food, and system disease. Treatment is antihistamines and to determine the cause. ...Read more

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How best to diagnose milk allergy? Skin test or blood test?

How best to diagnose milk allergy? Skin test or blood test?

Probably skin.: If someone is allergic to some allergen, like milk, a skin test can be done to see if there is reaction to it. Swelling and redness of the site can tell how severe it is. Clinical labs may be able to test reactions serologically, so blood might be taken also for this. ...Read more

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I am taking 3 different meds for allergies and zoloft (sertraline). I had a blood test and skin test without stopping them. Did that negate the tests?

I am taking 3 different meds for allergies and zoloft (sertraline). I had a blood test and skin test without stopping them. Did that negate the tests?

Maybe: If you had a positive response to the allergy test, it is probably valid. However, the medications could have interfered with the test to give you a negative result when you are really allergic to something. There are different types of response to an allergen that is often cell-mediated but the process is rather complicated. There have been reported interference due to use of medications. ...Read more

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If I have a positive Quest Diagnostics blood test for a food allergy, could a skin test give a stronger confirmation? So many positives for foods!

If I have a positive Quest Diagnostics blood test for a food allergy, could a skin test give a stronger confirmation? So many positives for foods!

Blood tests: For food allergies are somewhat unreliable - as there are many problems with cross reactivities on the assays. Unless you have had a particular event like you were unable to breathe or throat swelling after eating a particular food and are sure there was nothing else causing it- then these results may not be clinically important. Pollen/ and environmental allergy testing is much more reliable. ...Read more

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Skin test for food allergies had a +2 reaction to milk and +to soy blood test came back negative still have issues w/milk what do I do?

Avoid it!: Allergy tests can be very useful but are not without a margin of error. Listen to your body, if a particular food does not agree with you, avoid it and find other foods that will provide the nutrients you are missing. The tricky thing with eliminating milk is making sure you are getting enough Vitamin D. Calcium and protein are other considerations in planning your diet. Best wishes! ...Read more

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Had unprotected sex with sex worker 20 years ago but blood test is HIV negative to this day. Now have have family and all have bad allergy and skin rash. Do you think this is related?

Had unprotected sex with sex worker 20 years ago but blood test is HIV negative to this day. Now have have family and all have bad allergy and skin rash. Do you think this is related?

Not likely related: If you mean by allergies - seasonal allergies to pollen, mold, pet dander, etc there that tends to run in families and cannot be "caught" from another person. Skin rashes like eczema often accompanies people with allergies and are common. Again, not contagious. Take care! ...Read more

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The skin on my face burns and itches as well as my throat. Doc did blood test for common food allergy-negative! Wont eat! Scared of anaphylaxis now!

The skin on my face burns and itches as well as my throat. Doc did blood test for common food allergy-negative! Wont eat! Scared of anaphylaxis now!

2nd opinion: Inhalant or food allergies do not cause prolonged facial burning or itching. However throat itching (provided no throat closure) can be present if someone has eaten a food and particularly certain fruits. The latter is due to cross-sensitivity to a pollen (birch, ragweed). You need to consult a b/c allergist to pin this down. I usually test with the actual fruits instead of extracts. ...Read more

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Pos Allergy prick test but neg blood test. Which one is reliable. Don't want to stop eating if I'm not really allergic. Only get runny nose n tachycardia?

Pos Allergy prick test but neg blood test. Which one is reliable. Don't want to stop eating if I'm not really allergic. Only get runny nose n tachycardia?

Prick test allergy: Pos Allergy prick test but neg blood test. Which one is reliable. Don't want to stop eating if I'm not really allergic. Only get runny nose n tachycardia? ANS: Only real way to tell is to do a detailed food and runny nose/ tacky diary and then start dropping foods that you tested + for and see. But sounds to me that the symptoms don't really bother you? ...Read more

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Is there a blood test for allergies?

Is there a blood test for allergies?

Yes: Yes, blood can be sent to test for allergies, however the "gold standard" is allergy skin testing. This identifies the important allergens in your area, and also demonstrates that the patient reacts to those allergens. If the skin is so irritated, or you cannot stop taking antihistamines or cannot cooperate with skin testing, blood tests are used as an alternative method. ...Read more

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I'm currently getting a blood test for allergies, will they also test for drugs, what should I do?

I'm currently getting a blood test for allergies, will they also test for drugs, what should I do?

Don't worry: It would be very illegal and unethical to test you for street drugs without your consent, unless you were seriously sick and we had reason to think that knowing what drugs were in you would save your life. ...Read more

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Can you tell me is the blood test for allergies the most accurate allergy test?

Can you tell me is the blood test for allergies the most accurate allergy test?

No: The most accurate test is your clinical history. What actually happens to you when you get into this-and-that? Especially, don't assume you're safe to eat / inhale / keep as a pet something that seems to make you sick because of some bloodwork. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have recently been taking drugs, and I need to get a blood test for allergies, will they test for drugs anyway as a precaution?

Not usually: You should discuss your concerns with the doctor who prescribed the medications. It is not a routine practice to test for allergies or do blood levels for most drugs. ...Read more

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I want to go get a blood test for allergies. Will this assess for all types of allergens? Will it tell if I'm allergic to food dyes?

I want to go get a blood test for allergies. Will this assess for all types of allergens? Will it tell if I'm allergic to food dyes?

Uncertain: Every single test needs be interpreted with the history and physical findings in context. Food dye allergy. Other than to red carmine dye, is very rare if non-existent although it was in vogue over 40 years ago. ...Read more

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Is there a simple blood test to determine all of your allergies?

Is there a simple blood test to determine all of your allergies?

Not a single test: However, single blood sample can be tested for IgE antibodies to multiple allergens. It would be helpful to narrow down the list of antigen through clinical information as the list can be impossibly long for testing. ...Read more

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Is there a blood test to determine drug allergies?

What is the context: Depends on what you are looking for. No simple test. There are specific tests for certain things (penicillin). There are a few tests done to determine if an individual can tolerate a certain med (G6PD). Mostly, though, it comes down to trial of a med and knowledge of what to look for. For example if you get a cough with ACE inhib (lisinopril) your DR will change you to ARB (valsartan) ...Read more

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Allergy test- please help interpret results? Many different "classes" on the blood test.

Allergy test- please help interpret results? Many different "classes" on the blood test.

It depends.: This depends on what test you got and your results. A blood allergy test is a radioimmunoassay test that measures ige response to allergens. These responses are graded on a scale from 0 to 6 where 0 is no reaction and 6 is extremely high level of ige to allergen. The skin test is where a small amount of allergen is injected into the skin and if there is 2mm swelling in 10 minutes, it's positive. ...Read more

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My child has diarrhoea for four months. I've taken her off dairy products, had her allergy tested had blood test and everything is clear. What could it b?

My child has diarrhoea for four months. I've taken her off dairy products, had her allergy tested had blood test and everything is clear. What could it b?

Many possibilities: Stool needs to be checked for infection especially clostridium difficile, also fats to be sure proper absorption. Check for gluten sensitivity known as celiac sprue. Hyperthyroidism can sometimes do this. Any blood in diarrhea or abdominal pain? If so, we worry about inflammatory bowel disease like crohn's or ulcerative colitis. Your family doc can coordinate all this. Good luck! ...Read more

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Anyone test for allergies to walnuts? Is it a blood test?

Anyone test for allergies to walnuts? Is it a blood test?

History: It's a common allergy and can be severe. If it is quite clear from your experience with walnuts that you are allergic, the results of a patch test won't tell you anything you don't already know. ...Read more

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Can medication for allergies be marked on a blood test?

Can medication for allergies be marked on a blood test?

Skin testing best: The various blood tests commercially available measure the presence of allergy antibodies (ige) either in total or directed toward a particular antigen. Allergy antibodies in the blood cause no symptoms. Allergy symptoms you require cells (mast. Or basophils) in your tissue with sufficient amounts of the particular igeto have a reaction. Therefore skin testing is the gold standard for testing. ...Read more