What Is Skin Testing for Allergies?enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-QA-enHD-AR1.gifA scratch or skin prick test is a common way doctors find out more about a person's allergies.skin test, scratch test, skin prick test, skin prick, allergy testing, allergy tests, allergy, allergic, allergies, food allergy, food allergies, testing for allergies, skin tests, skin testing, allergists, immunology, hives, allergic reactions, CD1Allergy05/03/201209/26/201609/26/2016Larissa Hirsch, MD04/14/2015cd2bf968-d812-40dd-bac5-23853e0f6291https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skin-test.html/<p><em>What is skin testing for allergies?</em><br /> &ndash; <em>Julia</em></p> <p>The most common way to test for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy.html/">allergies</a> is on the skin, usually the forearm or the back. In a typical skin test (also called a scratch test), a doctor or nurse will place a tiny bit of an allergen (such as pollen or food) on the skin, then <span>prick the outer layer of skin or </span>make a small scratch on the skin.</p> <p>The allergist may repeat this, testing for several allergens in one visit. This can be a little uncomfortable, but not painful.</p> <p>If a child reacts to one of the allergens, the skin will swell a little in that area. The doctor will be able to see if a reaction happens within about 15 minutes. The swelling usually goes down within about 30 minutes to a few hours. Other types of skin testing include injecting allergens into the skin or taping allergens to the skin for 48 hours.</p> <p>With a skin test, an allergist can check for these kinds of allergies:<br /> </p> <ul> <li>environmental, such as mold, pet dander, or tree pollen</li> <li>food, such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nut-peanut-allergy.html/">peanuts</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/egg-allergy.html/">eggs</a></li> <li>medicines, such as penicillin</li> </ul> <p>Some medicines (such as antihistamines) can interfere with skin testing, so check with the doctor to see if your child's medications need to be stopped before the test is done. While skin testing is useful and helpful, sometimes more tests (like blood tests or food challenges) also must be done to see if a child is truly allergic to something.</p> <p>While skin tests are usually well tolerated, in rare instances&nbsp;they can cause a more <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anaphylaxis.html/">serious allergic reaction</a>. This is why skin testing must always be done in an allergist's office, where the doctor is prepared to handle a reaction.</p>
All About AllergiesMillions of Americans, including many kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy.html/50114e1e-94ae-48c1-8769-b59b60036096
AllergiesExplore more than 20 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of allergies in children.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/allergies-center.html/534b89db-c154-456f-87cc-a887772f96a7
Allergy TestingDoctors use several different types of allergy tests, depending on what a person may be allergic to. Find out what to expect from allergy tests.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/allergy-tests.html/781afac6-a4a9-477f-a759-1cee604cebf5
Blood Test: Allergen-Specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE)This blood test can check for some kinds of allergies.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-ige.html/9acd5f17-0b42-4895-afb0-c774e40740a8
Blood Test: Immunoglobulin E (IgE)The immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test is often done as part of an initial screen for allergies. High IgE levels also may indicate a parasitic infection.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-immunoglobulin-e.html/f9a4baf1-88d9-420c-96c2-0395ea70c7d5
Blood Test: Immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG, IgM)Immunoglobulins (antibodies in the blood) can give doctors important information about the immune system, especially relating to infection or autoimmune disease.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-immunoglobulins.html/5eabb423-2119-4dfb-8c08-e89f51436717
Food AllergiesStruggling with strawberries? Petrified of peanuts? Sorry you ate shellfish? Maybe you have a food allergy. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/food-allergies.html/e56e2bf2-b47d-46d4-886a-4c90accbb7a7
Food Allergies and Food SensitivitiesFind more than 30 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of food allergies in children.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/foodallergies-center.html/d3c22db3-bb92-40fb-ab56-d23fdaf053be
Food Allergies: How to CopeWith food allergies, preventing a reaction means avoiding that food entirely. But sometimes allergens can be hidden in places you don't expect. Here are tips on living with a food allergy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/food-allergy-coping.html/99fe9b8e-5489-41f1-8843-84ef92b9335f
How Do Doctors Test for Allergies?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy-testing.html/2aad8cf7-9455-471d-97fb-11f3093c59ec
How Do Doctors Test for Food Allergies?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy-tests.html/0605162e-bd9d-43e4-9d29-466f41555ece
What's the Difference Between a Food Allergy and a Food Intolerance?Food allergies and food intolerances, like lactose intolerance, are not the same. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy-intolerance.html/969e0d3e-a4b0-4780-8d7f-7b93bb6d1116
Word! Skin TestIf you think that you might have allergies, a special doctor called an allergist can help figure out what you are allergic to by giving you a skin test.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/word-skin-test.html/0a6af6b6-37c3-43a5-826d-1c82996c1d3f
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