Information about Allergy testing
Tests for allergens: Skin prick test, Blood test, Patch test, Food allergy test.
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I am a paediatrician with special interest in allergy In children we test for allergy in 2 ways 1. skin prick test (SPT) where a sollution is applied to the skin and the skin is touched gently with a lancet. it is not a painful test. The results are available within 40 minutes. This tests for the immediate allergies ( reaction within 20 min).The test inculdes the commenest allergens which is either food or enviromental. food such as cows milk, soya, eggs, fish, wheat, peanuts and other tree nuts. enviromental such as mould, pollen both grass and tree , cats and dogs. We often test for other items if parents concered or noted that the child react when exposed to other items. the SPT could be done from 4 months old but it is more accurate if performed at an older age. 2. blood test for allergies and occasionally we perform both SPT and blood test. 3.delayed allergies( up to 3days post exposure) are more difficult to diagnose. Patch tests are not often done in children
you do not need a referral except if your insurance expect you to.
No, there is no need to have an empty stomach for the allergy testing. If the allergy test is performed on the skin, (skin prick test ot patch test) then it is important to make sure that the patient did not have antihistamine for minimum of 5 days prior to the test. for the blood test you do not need to be fasting and no need to stop the antihistamines. hope this clarify.
Both tests are important as they look at sensitisation from different angles. Sometimes we do both tests, but everything starts with consultation. We can test for more than 400 allergens and right selection of what allergens we are testing for can give information that help to make correct diagnosis and treatment
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