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About diagnostic procedures for allergies

There are many diagnostic tests that doctors at Children’s may perform in order to determine your child’s allergies.

Children’s Allergy team is staffed by dermatologists, allergists and psychologists who team up with Children’s researchers to conduct clinical trials to evaluate new approaches to the treatment of allergic conditions.

Center for Aero-Digestive Disorders (CADD)
Children's Hospital Boston
333 Longwood Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston MA 02115
617-355-3795

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.

Diagnostic Procedures for Allergies | Programs & Services