Is It Safe to Test My Child for Skin Allergies?

mom and daughter drinking milk

Our Myth Busters Investigate

As a parent, it's understandable to be concerned and cautious when considering if your child should undergo an allergy test. The thought of exposing them to something that could potentially lead to an allergic reaction can be nerve-wracking. At Allergy Partners, we want you to feel confident and comfortable in the decisions you make for your child's care—and our team is here to help answer any questions or concerns that you may have regarding skin allergy testing.

With decades of experience evaluating and testing childhood allergies, our physicians have developed safety protocols providing the highest level of accuracy while ensuring minimal risk factors throughout the process. Let’s dive a bit deeper into allergy skin testing for children.

The Benefits of Allergy Skin Testing

Allergy skin testing, first introduced more than 150 years ago in 1865, is one of the best ways to diagnose sensitization. Its two forms – skin prick and intradermal – are safe and effective for detecting allergies without any major risks involved. In both cases, a positive reaction appears as an itchy red bump on the injected area or prick spot. With its clear advantages over other tests, such as accuracy rate, fewer side effects, etc., this classic method remains invaluable today when diagnosing allergic conditions with confidence.

There are three key reasons to choose allergy skin testing:

  • It’s quick. Many allergens can be tested at once and the results are usually ready in as little as 10 minutes.
  • It’s comfortable. Though a positive test may be itchy for several minutes, both the skin prick and intradermal testing involve minimal discomfort.
  • It’s accurate. When performed by a trained technician and with high-quality extracts, allergy skin testing is the most accurate test for allergy diagnosis.

Allergy testing results may not be dependent on age, sex, or race, yet certain factors such as ethnicity and the individual's stage of life can still impact how a test is interpreted. For instance, allergy skin tests are usually conducted even in babies at just one-month-old; however, due to their delicate nature, young children’s reactions may vary from those of an adult. As this affects the accuracy of these tests, it requires medical professionals to interpret them carefully for optimal diagnostic outcomes. The reason for skin testing is probably more important than the age at which a child is tested.

Identifying Allergic Diseases

Allergic diseases can manifest in different ways during different stages of a child's development. In infants and toddlers, food allergy or atopic dermatitis is most common, whereas in school-age children allergic rhinitis presents itself more frequently. Adolescent boys and teenage girls are the age group that asthma symptoms typically surface. Skin testing should take into account what environment the child lives in to determine potential allergens specific to their own individual context.

Allergy Myth: Busted!

So while allergy skin testing is largely safe for children, the tests carry a risk of swelling and other adverse reactions, so they should only be performed by a qualified medical professional. In addition, the test results can be unreliable in young children due to their underdeveloped immune systems, so even if the skin test is negative, it doesn't necessarily mean that your child does not have an allergy. Moreover, an allergist may recommend other tests such as blood work or challenge tests that are more accurate and will produce better results.

Contact Allergy Partners for Allergy Skin Testing

Allergy skin testing is not something to worry about. With Allergy Partners, you can trust that your allergies and asthma will be diagnosed accurately in a virtually painless way by a local team backed by a national network of board-certified physicians.

Get the relief you need today— contact your local Allergy partners office for more information on getting started with their helpful services right away.