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How Long Does It Take For Allergy Test Results

After An Allergy Test

How Allergy Testing Works

After the test, you can expect:

  • If you have a skin prick test, your doctor will examine you for signs of an allergic reaction after 20 minutes. This should subside in 12 hours.
  • Patch tests require further visits at two and four days after they are applied.
  • The results of blood tests may take up to a week to be known.
  • An elimination and challenge diet may take many weeks to provide results.
  • An oral allergen challenge may require admission to an outpatient or inpatient clinic at a hospital.

False reactions can occur with any test, so results need to be assessed with your clinical symptoms. Once the offending allergen or allergens are confirmed, you should try to avoid or reduce exposure to them in future as directed by your clinical immunology/allergy specialist.

Why Allergy Testing Is Performed

Allergies affect more than 50 million people living in the United States, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology . Inhaled allergens are by far the most common type.

The World Allergy Organization estimates that asthma is responsible for 250,000 deaths annually. These deaths can be avoided with proper allergy care, as asthma is considered an allergic disease process.

Allergy testing can determine which particular pollens, molds, or other substances youre allergic to. You may need medication to treat your allergies. Alternatively, you can try to avoid your allergy triggers.

How Long Does Allergy Treatment/immunotherapy Take


When someone asks how long allergy treatment takes, they are really asking two questions. First, they are wanting to know how long it will take before they see improvements, and secondly, they are asking how long before they can stop treatment without having any symptoms.

The first question is the one that is harder to answer because everyone is different. Some people notice a drastic difference within the first week of treatment, while others may not notice any improvement until months after starting treatment. The rate of treatment also affects how long it takes to improve. For example, some people will be able to get two shots per week, while others only can only handle one shot per week. Some people will get mild reactions to the shots and have to slow down the progression, while others may have no symptoms and are able to progress through the treatment more quickly. However, every patient should be seeing some improvement within six months of starting treatment, at the latest, and should notice drastic improvement within 12 months. If they are not seeing improvements, then the treatment will likely need to be adjusted.

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What About False Negatives

Its possible for your food allergy test to result in a false negative. That is, its possible for you to have a food allergy, but not react to the testing. Skin tests, in particular, are known to be affected by false positives. This is because allergy medications can prevent allergy tests from giving accurate results.

If you are suffering from an unknown allergy, its likely you use over the counter medications to help manage your frustrating symptoms. These medications stay in your system for longer than you think, and even if you dont take any allergy medications for days before your allergy test, these medications can still prevent you from getting the right results.

Usually, your doctor will ask you to stop taking any allergy medications for several days before the test. If skipping your allergy medication isnt an option, your doctor may opt for a type of food allergy test that isnt as easily affected by over the counter allergy medication.

Which Test Method Is Best

How Long Does Allergy Testing Take?

Skin tests give fast results. They usually cost less than allergy blood tests. However, some medicines can interfere with skin tests. Since the skill of the tester may affect the results, skin testing should be done by a medical professional with lots of training.

Blood tests are helpful because they involve a single needle prick. Medicine does not interfere with the results. However, it takes a long time to get the results, and depending on the test, there can be false positives. Blood tests cost more than skin tests. There are many of types of allergy blood tests. Some types are more helpful than others.

Each test method has pluses and minuses. The test results alone do not diagnose allergies. All test results, from either type of test, must be interpreted together with your medical history.

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My Allergy Symptoms Are Only In The Spring And Summer Can I Receive My Immunotherapy Treatment Just At That Time

Limiting your immunotherapy to just the spring and summer does not give your immune system time to adapt to allergens which cause you to have symptoms. Immunotherapy injections are required year-round to experience the long-term benefits.

If you are interested in Allergy Testing & Treatment, call us to schedule an appointment at or

Food Allergy Testing: What Does The Process Involve

We are all familiar with allergies. Whether its allergies that come with the change of seasons, allergies to cats or dogs, or allergies to foods that include common allergens like gluten or dairy, most people have experienced allergies in one form or another. Sometimes, its obvious what is causing our allergies we come into contact with a dog or dust and start sneezing. But other times, it isnt so easy to find what is causing your discomfort. Thats where food allergy testing comes in. And you can get all your allergy testing and treatment at Asthma Allergy Center, in greater Portland, OR.

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When You Need Them And When You Dont

Allergy tests may help find allergies to things you eat, touch, or breathe in. They are usually skin or blood tests.

However, allergy tests alone are generally not enough. It is important to have a doctors exam and medical history first to help diagnose allergies. If the exam and medical history point to allergies, allergy tests may help find what you are allergic to. But if you dont have symptoms and you havent had a medical exam that points to an allergy, you should think twice about allergy testing. Heres why:

When Is It Ordered

What to Expect: Allergy Skin Testing

One or more allergen-specific IgE antibody tests may be ordered when a person has signs or symptoms that suggest an allergy to one or more substances. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Itching and tingling in the mouth
  • Throat tightness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Abdominal pain or vomiting and diarrhea
  • A test may also be ordered occasionally to help evaluate the effectiveness of immunotherapy or to determine whether a child has outgrown an allergy.

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    How Long Does An Allergy Skin Test Take

    A person has to stay with the patch on their forearm or their backs for a period of 48 hours. This is for the patch allergy skin test. For the skin injection allergy skin test, the test is given fifteen minutes then observed for any allergic signs.

    • Allergy skin test list of allergens which are main or primary include allergens that are mostly inhaled. These affect the lungs or membranes found in the nostrils or throat, an example is a Pollen.
    • The second primary type is one that has to be ingested. They are known as ingested allergens and they are found in some foods e.g peanuts, soy, and seafood.
    • The third example is the ones that cause allergies by having to come into contact with a persons skin. They mostly lead to itchiness and rashes. Such allergen is the poison ivy

    Allergy skin test results numbers are the numbers against which the results of the test are compared to in order to give the correct diagnosis.

    Allergy skin tests should be done by specialists only to prevent the side effects from being extreme and life-threatening. The tests are useful in determining the allergens that are harmful to a particular individual.

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    The Risks Of Allergy Testing

    Allergy tests may result in mild itching, redness, and swelling of the skin. Sometimes, small bumps called wheals appear on the skin.

    These symptoms often clear up within hours but may last for a few days. Mild topical steroid creams can alleviate these symptoms.

    On rare occasions, allergy tests produce an immediate, severe allergic reaction that requires medical attention. Thats why allergy tests should be conducted in a doctors office that has adequate medications and equipment, including epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis, which is a potentially life threatening acute allergic reaction.

    Call 911 immediately if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as:

    • swelling of the throat

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    Food Allergy Testing: The Process

    Some people are lucky enough to not be allergic to anything, while others suffer through their allergies. Why do people have different reactions to the same substance? Well, allergies start when your body incorrectly mistakes a harmless substance for a dangerous invader. To help fight this invader, your body produces antibodies, specifically an antibody called Immunoglobulin E .

    The IgE causes all those terrible symptoms we associate with allergies. Environmental allergies usually produce annoying, but ultimately harmless, symptoms: the runny nose and eyes, sneezing, coughing, and itching. Food allergies, however, besides causing moderate gastric reactions, can cause much more dangerous symptoms like swelling of the mouth, face, or throat, hives, and even anaphylaxis. Food allergies are taken so seriously because they can be deadly.

    How To Interpret Results

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    The results of a food allergy test can be confusing for someone with no medical training. As food allergy tests become widely available, more and more people are having to interpret results for themselves.

    Heres what the scoring system is like and what it means:

    • Values under 0.35 mean unlikely sensitization to the allergen.
    • Values between 0.35-0.69 mean doubtful significance.
    • Values between 0.70-3.49 mean there is a possibility.
    • Values between 3.50-17.49 mean a greater possibility.
    • Values between 17.50-49.99 mean very likely.
    • Values between 50.00-100.00 mean very high likelihood.
    • Values over 100.00 mean extremely likely.

    The higher the number, the more likely it is that the food allergen is causing the allergy symptoms.

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    Identify The Cause Of Patient Symptoms For More Effective Treatment

    Allergies, respiratory infections, and asthma often present with similar symptoms, making them difficult to differentiate. Being able to rule in or rule out allergies as the cause of your patients symptoms can help inform better treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.

    From individual allergen tests and component testing to regional environmental allergy test panels, Quest offers a comprehensive range of ImmunoCAP® IgE blood allergy tests to meet the full spectrum of patient needs.

    How Do Allergy Skin Tests Work

    There are two types of skin tests. During the first type of skin test, a drop of a suspected allergen is pricked on the surface of the skin. The test is performed on the back or forearm. Many suspected allergens are tested at the same time. If you are allergic to one of the tests, you will have redness and swelling at the test spot.

    Sometimes the doctor will recommend a second type of test. In this type, a small amount of the suspected allergen is injected into the skin of the arm or forearm. Several suspected allergens are tested at the same time.

    How long does it take to get skin test results?

    Skin testing is fast. For both types of skin tests, positive reactions usually appear within 20 minutes. Sometimes redness and swelling can occur several hours after skin testing. The delayed reaction usually disappears in 24 to 48 hours, but should be reported to the allergy doctor or nurse.

    Is skin testing painful?

    Both types of skin tests have little or no pain. However, positive reactions cause annoying itching red bumps which look and feel like mosquito bites. The itching and bumps are gone usually in just a few short minutes or hours. Your allergist may apply a cream to your skin to help decrease the reaction, or have you take an antihistamine afterwards.

    Does medicine interfere with allergy skin tests?

    Some medicines do interfere with allergy skin tests. The allergist will tell you if you have to change your medicine before allergy skin testing.

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    How To Interpret Your Food Allergy Test Results

    The gold standard for food allergy testing is the oral food challenge, which is a medically supervised, gradual process of introducing a food allergen to a patient in order to diagnose or rule out a food allergy.

    The doctor may also use an Immunoglobulin blood test, which measures the presence of allergen-specific IgE antibodies in your blood after being exposed to a food allergen. The immune system makes antibodies to fight the food allergens that it mistakes as invaders. The blood test can test for common food allergies, as well as different mixes of allergens.

    What Other Tests Are Available For Allergy Testing

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    Skin prick or scratch tests, intradermal tests, patch tests, and oral food challenges are usually performed by an allergist or dermatologist. These tests can be subjective and depend on factors such as dose of allergens, administration of the tests, and interpretation of results.

    Your healthcare provider may also try eliminating foods from your diet and then reintroducing them to find out what you are allergic to. It is important that these tests be done under close medical supervision, as a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction is possible.

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    Patch Allergy Skin Test Procedure

    For a patch allergy skin test, there is no need to use needles instead the allergens are done on patches, the patches are then put into contact with the skin. About 20 to 30 different allergens that can lead to the contact dermatitis condition are tested. Some of these allergens include latex, drugs, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, metal, and gums.

    A person has to stay with the patch on their forearm or their backs for a period of 48 hours. They should avoid bathing or engage in activities that may lead to heavy sweating. The doctor removes the patch which may show some kind of an allergy.

    Blood Tests For Allergen Specific Ige

    Immunoglobulin E antibodies directed against specific allergens can be measured with a blood test. These tests are often performed when skin testing is not easily available, when there is a skin condition such as severe eczema, or when a person is taking medications , that interfere with accurate skin prick testing.

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    Test Results From Allergy Testing:

    Our doctors also take a medical history in addition to the allergy test to determine what allergens are bothersome and diagnose an allergy. Patients will be made aware during their initial visit what allergens they have tested positive to. Based on the test results of your allergy skin test, our allergists determine the best treatment options for your allergies and their symptoms.

    Allergy Blood Testing: What Is It

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    An allergy develops because your immune system produces immunoglobulin E antibodies specific to a potential allergen after you are exposed to it. The next time you are exposed, the allergen usually a protein will react with these antibodies, triggering an allergic reaction. Blood testing for allergies looks for the presence of these antibodies.

    For your allergy blood test, a member of your medical team will draw your blood, usually from a vein in your arm. Your blood will be sent to a laboratory and tested for IgE antibodies to various allergens, depending on the substances you and your doctor suspect may be causing your allergy symptoms. Allergy blood testing is very specific , so your doctor may perform numerous tests on your blood sample.

    If your test results come back positive for an allergen, you are almost definitely allergic to that substance. If your results come back negative, however, your doctor may recommend further testing, since there is a small chance of false negative results when it comes to allergy blood testing. A false negative result says you are not allergic to something when you actually are.

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    What Should I Expect During An Allergy Test

    The purpose of skin tests is to see how your body responds to allergens. If you have an allergic reaction, youll develop a reaction at the site of the test. Rarely patients may have mild allergy symptoms such as itchy skin, watery eyes and congestion. Most symptoms clear up in one to two hours after the test, the redness or wheals may remain for several more hours.

    The Allergy Testing Procedure

    Skin testing is a simple series of tiny scratches made on your back. Staff uses a small instrument similar to a plastic toothpick, which contains trace amounts of a single allergen, such as mold, pollen, dust mite, and pet dander to perform the allergy test. When the results are positive, a small reaction on the skin occurs, usually within 20 minutes. This reaction is generally a small bump, similar to a mosquito bite, and may cause some itchiness. A bump or reaction indicates that you are allergic to that specific trigger. Following the scratch test on the back, some patients may also receive intradermal testing, where a small amount of the allergen is injected under the skin of the arm to see if it causes a reaction.

    Here is a video explaining the testing and immunotherapy process we show to patients after they are tested:

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    Skin Injection Allergy Skin Test Procedure

    For the skin injection allergy skin test in order to determine the normal reaction of the skin from allergens, two more allergens are pricked into the patients skin surface. They are namely

  • Histamine, which naturally leads to reactions in most peoples skins. Failure to react to this may also lead to a lack of any reaction from the allergy skin test even if it is existence.
  • Glycerin or Saline is the other allergen applied on the skin. It mainly does not lead to any reaction in many individuals. Lack of any reaction to this allergen shows that a person has a sensitive skin. The results produced have to be examined more keenly to avoid poor diagnosis.
  • The test is given fifteen minutes then observed for any allergic signs. The existence of allergies due to any of the above allergens leads to the development of a raised itchy bump or wheal that is red in colour and resembles one from a mosquito bite. The size of the bum is then measured. The results are then recorded down and the area of the test is cleaned using alcohol.


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