WellSpan Home

Health Library

Diagnostic Tests for Allergies

The most common tests for allergy are:

  • IgE (immunoglobulin E) skin tests. These are the most common allergy tests. Skin tests for allergies measure IgE antibodies to specific allergens. A small amount of allergen is applied to the skin. The area is pricked or scratched. If a person is allergic to the allergen, a reaction occurs. A small raised bump that looks like a mosquito bite appears. Testing for many allergens may be done at the same time. An allergist may also test intradermally. A small amount of allergen is injected just under the skin. This type of skin testing is more sensitive than prick or scratch testing.

  • Blood tests. Blood tests for allergies also measure IgE antibodies to specific allergens in the blood. The testing that is most commonly used is called RAST (radioallergosorbent test). Blood tests may be used when skin tests can't be done. For example, in a person with a skin condition. A positive blood test does not always mean have a specific allergy. These tests usually cost more than other allergy tests.

  • Challenge test. This test is always supervised by an allergist. A person eats or inhales a very small amount of an allergen and is closely monitored for an allergic reaction. Challenge testing is usually done to test for food or drug allergies.

Diagnostic Procedures for Allergy - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 2014-05-16T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2014-05-29T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-04-15T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.