Your healthcare provider or specialist may suggest a blood test if your child needs to keep taking medications that could interfere with a skin test. Also if they have particular skin conditions. Or have ever had a severe allergic reaction. The sample goes off to the lab so you won’t get the allergy test results that day.
Allergy blood test: This involves taking a small sample from your child’s arm or with a finger prick. The lab looks for specific IgE antibodies in the blood indicating sensitization. Finger pricks and needles are no one’s favorite thing. Children may be able to have numbing cream before allergy blood tests taken from their arm. That’s as long as they’re not allergic to lidocaine.
Component test: It's a variation of the allergy blood test taking a more detailed look at the triggers. There may be several proteins in a substance that can cause allergy symptoms. A component test can tell you which one your child is sensitized to. That’s helpful if they react to peanuts, tree nuts or insect venom because some proteins in these allergens are more likely to set off a severe reaction.
Home allergy testing: Look for tests that detect IgE; not all do. This isn’t a short cut to a diagnosis as you’ll need to ask a medical expert to interpret the results. But a home allergy test can give you the confidence to book an appointment. There are two types. Both involve taking a small blood sample from your child’s fingertip.
Home to lab means you send the sample off for analysis. There are also allergy self-test kits. You test the blood yourself and get a result soon after. The number of allergens may be fewer.