Types of Allergy Tests

Together, you and your doctor will determine which type of allergy testing is best for you. In the table below, read about some of the pros and cons of each type of allergy test. Get more information about each type of test on the following pages.

Skin testing (scratch, intradermal)
  • Immediate results
  • Sensitive
  • Inexpensive
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Delayed results
  • More expensive
  • Requires needle stick
Challenge tests
  • Immediate results
  • Can be used when food or drugs that are possible allergens are needed
  • Risk of possible life-threatening reaction (anaphylactic shock)
  • Expensive

See the next page to learn more about allergy skin tests.

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