Diagnostic procedures for allergies In-Depth

Diagnostic tests for allergy may include any or all of the following:

Skin tests:

  • Measure your child's level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in response to certain allergens or triggers
  • Very accurate
  • Small amounts of solution that contain different allergens will either be injected under the skin or applied with a small scratch. A reaction would appear as a small red area.
  • Usually not performed on children who have had a severe life-threatening reaction to an allergen or have severe dry skin (eczema)

Blood tests:

  • Measure IgE antibodies to specific allergens in the blood.
  • The blood test most commonly used is called RAST (radioallergosorbent test).
  • May be used when skin tests cannot be performed.