All About Allergy Testing – Skin Prick vs. Blood Allergy Test

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The skin prick test is the standard method to screen for allergies that involve taking a small sample of skin and pricking it to extract a small amount of blood. It may also be referred to as a scratch test, which involves taking the same amount of blood from the finger. This method was used before when there wasn’t access to whole blood samples; instead, they used serum and plasma; this test is sensitive and reliable but can only detect certain types of substances at lower concentrations. 

Skin prick and blood allergy tests check a person’s general allergic reaction. The body must have enough time before any severe reaction occurs if allergic reactions are going to take place after just one drop of fluid gets into your system. The difference between these two tests is that a skin prick test is done on a person by pricking the skin with a needle, while in a blood allergy test, the medicine for diagnosis is injected into a vein.

Skin Prick Test:

A doctor will prick your skin with a needle and put a drop of liquid on it. If you have an allergic reaction, this will make your skin red or swollen. To get it done by a professional, you should visit Ear & Allergy Clinic. People can do skin prick tests by injecting different substances into their skin, such as pollen extracts or house dust mite extracts, food extracts (like fish or egg), medications, and whatever they’re most likely allergic to. 

Blood Allergy Test:

The medicine (usually a protein) that will cause allergy is mixed with a small amount of radioactive material. It is then injected into your vein, and the doctor will watch to see if the radioactive material reaches the red blood cells. If it does, this means your body is producing antibodies. It can be used to see if you have any allergies. The doctor may also check for reactions in your blood by mixing a food, drug, or another type of allergen with blood and matching for reactions. The results are usually available after 24 hours or so. The main reason why different tests are done is that them having distinct advantages over each other.

Safety:

Skin prick tests are safer than blood tests. The only risk of skin prick tests is allergic reactions to the medicine. People can treat these allergies by using other kinds of treatment instead, like antihistamines. For instance, if you have a positive skin prick test for cat allergy and your doctor gives you an injection of cetirizine (brand name Zyrtec), which causes an allergic reaction, there is no need to worry, as the Zyrtec will not be the allergen that caused this reaction. However, if you react to cetirizine, you should still go to the doctor because it might not be the correct diagnosis for your allergy.

Conclusion:

A skin prick test is a simple technique to check allergic skin reactions. Skin prick tests are more accessible, safer, and more accurate than blood tests. However, the data obtained from blood tests are more reliable than that of skin prick tests.

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