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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

Dr. John Chiu
2,606 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.