Allergy Blood Test

This blood test helps determine if you are allergic to a specific substance (allergen).

This blood test helps determine if you are allergic to a specific substance (allergen).

Allergy testing can be done to determine if you are allergic to a specific substance (allergen). These may include insect bites, mold, pollen, latex, or flakes of animal skin (dander). This testing can also be done to find the possible cause of certain conditions (asthma, hay fever and skin irritation). Two methods of allergy testing are skin tests and blood tests. Right now, skin testing is the main form of allergy testing.

  • Skin tests involve placing a small amount of a certain substance into the skin to see if redness and swelling occur.
  • Antihistamines can stop the body from reacting to the substances and result in a false negative result. Some other medications and skin conditions can also cause problems with skin testing. In those cases, a blood test can help determine the cause of some allergies.

Blood testing involves combining your blood with particles of a potential allergen to see if there is a response. One type of allergy blood testing is called a radioallergosorbent or RAST test.

  • Allergy blood testing is not often done because it is more costly than skin testing and may not be as accurate.
  • Allergy blood testing offers another choice for people who cannot be skin tested due to their medications or skin conditions. It is also helpful if skin testing provides unclear results.

Most people with allergies do not need allergy testing. In most cases, your healthcare provider can determine the cause of your symptoms by taking a careful history and performing a physical examination. If your symptoms cannot be controlled by avoidance of the allergen or with medications, your doctor may send you to an allergist-immunologist for allergy testing.

  • He or she will review your medical history and do a physical examination.
  • They may suggest keeping a daily diary of your symptoms.

In an adult, the blood sample is usually taken by placing a needle in a vein in the arm. In a baby or child, the sample may be taken by pricking a finger or the heel.

  • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking. Some can affect the test results.

This care path's costs do not include the charge to draw blood from a vein (venipuncture). There will only be one charge to draw blood, even if multiple tests are being performed on the samples that are taken.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • Why are you recommending blood allergy testing instead of skin testing?
  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What is the reason for the test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?


Also known as:

Allergy Blood Test
RAST test
Allergy Testing
Allergy Symptoms
Allergy Shots
Allergy Injections
Allergy and Immunology - Specialist Visit
Allergic Reaction
Allergic Rash
Allergy Screen
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