Types of Allergy Testing
Allergy Skin Tests
Skin tests are usually the first place to start in assessing your allergies and quickly produce results.
- The “prick” test is the most common. A diluted allergen is dropped onto the skin and pricked on the surface to allow exposure.
- An intradermal test is similar but uses a thin needle to inject the diluted allergen below the skin
During a skin test, your skin will be marked with a pen to identify each substance being tested. A drop of each allergen is placed on the pen mark on your skin and then pricked (or injected). Allergists usually test the skin on forearms or backs. You receive your results during your visit.
Allergy Blood Tests
In some cases, a doctor may draw blood and send it to a laboratory rather than conduct a skin test. Your allergist may order a blood test if a skin prick test might not be suitable for you if you are taking certain medications or have a skin condition that may interfere with skin testing. Talk to your doctor about whether or not an allergy blood test is right for you.