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Which allergy test is right for me?


Together, you and your doctor will determine which type of allergy testing is best for you. Some of the pros and cons of each type are:

Skin Testing (Scratch/Intradermal)

Pros

  • Immediate results
  • Sensitive
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Multiple skin pricks/punctures
  • Some medications can affect results
  • Rare risk of possible life-threatening reaction (anaphylactic shock)
  • Can't be used for people who have widespread skin problems or are taking certain medications

 Blood Testing (RAST)

Pros

  • No risk of anaphylactic reaction
  • Good for children and people who have skin problems or who are taking some medications
  • One needle stick to draw blood

Cons

  • Delayed results
  • More expensive
  • Requires needle stick

Challenge Tests

 Pros

  • Immediate results
  • Can be used when food or drugs that are possible allergens are needed

Cons

  • Risk of possible life-threatening reaction (anaphylactic shock)
  • Expensive

 


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