The doctor suspects that my son has allergies and recommended that we get him tested. What kind of tests should we expect? – Polly
The two main types of allergy tests are skin tests and blood tests:
A skin test (also called a scratch test) is the most common allergy test. With this test, the doctor or nurse will put a tiny bit of an allergen (like pollen or food) on the skin, then prick the outer layer of skin or make a small scratch on the skin. If the area swells up and becomes red (like a mosquito bite), the test is said to be positive, meaning that the child is allergic to that substance. Skin testing allows the doctor to see within about 15 minutes if a child is allergic to the substances tested.
A blood test may be used if a skin test can't be done. It takes a few days to get the results of blood tests.
Talk to your doctor or allergist about the specific test that will be done.