Skin Prick Test
Skin tests (either intradermal or skin prick) are widely used to determine food allergies. During a skin test (ST), a small amount of allergen is injected under the skin, and then the signs of a reaction (e.g. hives, swelling, redness) at the site of injection is monitored.
- Simple, rapid results, low cost
- Ability to test multiple allergens at one time.
- High degree of sensitivity
- Skin prick test is contraindicated in pregnancy, generalized skin disease and with current use of antihistamines.
- The sensitivity and specificity statistics for ST can vary significantly depending on the allergen extract used, site of testing (forearm, upper back, lower back).
- Trevorrow M, Marsden T. Summer 2012 Food Allergies and Sensitivities: Observing the Complete Picture Vital Link;19(2):33-39.
- Brandtzaeg P. Food allergy: separating the science from the mythology. Nature Reviews: Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2010;7: 380-399.