According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, over 50 million people in the U.S. have allergies. Today’s allergy tests are very accurate and can help identify what a person is allergic to. If a person has a peanut allergy, they can avoid this food and also avoid serious, life-threatening allergic reactions to peanuts.
Why Allergists Prefer Blood Tests
Some of the reasons why allergists often prefer allergy blood tests over skin allergy tests is because one prick of a needle is usually less uncomfortable for babies and children than skin tests that require multiple pricks. Also, if a child has a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, it is not possible to do skin tests. Sometimes skin tests indicate a large positive reaction if the test is done with a strong allergen that is injected under the skin.
Why Allergy Blood Tests Are Preferred
If a person is taking any medication, it can interfere with the results of a skin test. This is not the case when the allergist decides to do an allergy blood test. Also, it can be very difficult to see whether or not there is a reaction in a person with dark skin.
Blood Tests Take Longer Than Skin Tests
When a person has allergy skin testing, the results are almost immediate. If there is a reaction that shows that a person has food allergies, the skin test will show it in a short amount of time. Allergy blood tests need to be sent away to a lab, and the results are not usually available for several days.
Types of Allergies Identified
Food allergies are often identified with an allergy blood test, including allergies to peanuts. Testing with this method is also used to identify pollen, mold, dust mite, animal dander, insect stings, and some medicine allergies.