Blood Test vs Scratch Test for Allergy Testing – what is the difference?
Orange blossoms are in bloom, and the desert plant foliage is starting to show its beauty! Unfortunately to many Phoenix area residents, this also means a lot of wheezing, coughing, sneezing and fatigue. In order to effectively treat these horrible Arizona allergy symptoms, your doctor needs to find out what you are allergic to.
This is accomplished using two types of allergy testing, a blood test or a scratch test. In some cases, both types of allergy testing may be used. These tests are relatively simple to perform and only take a short amount of time out of your day to complete. Both are extremely effective and the results provide the doctor with a wealth of information.
Allergy Blood Tests- What are they?
Blood tests use samples of your blood to determine what types of antibodies your body is creating. Antibodies are produced when you come in contact with an allergen. An allergen is something that your body is resistant to. When an allergen is present, your body immediately begins to produce antibodies. These antibodies are what triggers the allergy symptoms you feel. During an allergy blood test, your doctor will draw a sample of your blood and run it through a series of tests to find out if any antibodies are present. A blood allergy test can identify several potential allergens, including molds, trees, weeds, grasses, dust, and pet dander.
Allergy Skin Tests
1) The first, and most common of the two types of allergy testing, is the scratch test. The scratch test is normally performed on the back. The patient will be percutaneously scratched with a plastic applicator that will deposit the antigen on the skin. This type of tests offers almost immediate results. The skin will begin to react to the allergen almost immediately, causing the area to become red, inflamed and irritated.
2) The second is normally performed on the upper arm and involves the suspected allergen being injected into the skin.
Which Type of Allergy Testing Method Is Best?
According to health line, Both types of allergy testing are extremely effective and produce accurate results. The difference is in the type of allergens that a person is being tested for. If a person has primarily systemic reactions, such as those associated with foods, a blood test is normally used. While a reaction to the skin may appear, it may not be intense enough to cause the doctor to take note of it.
Although blood tests are accurate in determining some of the most common allergens reported, skin/scratch tests are commonly the method most used in determining whether they are a problem. Part of the reason for this is the immediate results produced by the scratch test. It identifies the allergen almost immediately. It also gives an indication of the severity of the allergic reaction by the intensity of reaction on the skin.
When you visit Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, PC, because of possible allergy symptoms, the first thing they will do is take steps to identify potential allergens.
- This will involve an extensive Q&A about your symptoms and then allergy testing.
- Once they understand what you are allergic to, a treatment plan will be created and your symptoms will be treated.
Allergies can have a direct impact on your quality of life, especially if they are severe. Don’t waste another gorgeous spring day in Arizona feeling miserable. Please call 602-242-4592 and schedule an evaluation today at one of our 5 clinics to find out what is causing your allergies and how they can be treated.
It’s time to get your allergies under control and begin to live your life again!