How To Do Allergy Tests In Babies and Children

In this article, we will tell you how to do allergy tests in babies and children.

What is Allergy?

Allergies in the simplest terms; The antibodies in the human body fight and react to substances that may be harmless to another person. These substances are dust, nutrients, inhaled substances, pollen, animal hair, etc. it could be. Allergies can be seen in people of all age groups. Especially in babies, it can cause major health problems if the body’s allergic reaction to what is detected and precautions are not taken. Allergy can be seen in all age groups.

How Are Allergies Detected?

In general, allergies are detected by 4 different methods

1.Prick Test; This test can be tested on children of all ages, including infants. Usually, the patient’s skin is scratched on the inside of the arm or on the back with the help of a small plastic needle. The needle used usually does not cause any bleeding. A small amount of the allergen substance to be tested is dripped onto this area. It takes about 15-30 minutes. The skin, on which the allergen is dripped, is then observed. During the observation, the body’s reactions such as swelling and redness of the skin are measured.

Since some drugs can change the result of this test, the specialist should be told whether there is a drug used, and if any, which drugs are used. For example, this test is not done while using antihistamine drugs. Even if it is done, it will not give correct results.

These tests are generally safe. However, there is a very low risk of anaphylaxis (a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that needs to be treated right away). Therefore, it is necessary to observe the baby during this test. Thus, the allergist will be able to intervene quickly. However, as we mentioned, the allergen is dripped in a small amount and anaphylaxis is usually not observed. However, there is a possibility that this risk will happen, even if it is unlikely.

2.Patch Testing; It is one of the basic tests used in the diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis. When evaluated by considering the history of the disease and physical examination findings, it gives very valid results. It is generally used in the diagnosis of allergens that cause eczema.

A band with chemicals is attached to the patient’s back and waited for up to 2 days. If redness is observed, it is determined that an allergy has developed against the allergen substance. Again, cortisone and allergy medications should not be used before this test is applied.

3.Intradermal Test; In this test, allergens are given just under the skin with a thin injector tip and in an amount to create a slight swelling. It takes 15-30 minutes for results. If the prick test is negative but an allergic reaction is still suspected, your doctor may perform an intradermal test. Intradermal allergy tests are often used for environmental allergies and drug allergies. Usually this type of allergy testing is not used with food or latex allergies.


As for the effectiveness of this test, the intradermal test seems to give a thousand times more allergen than the skin prick test. Intradermal testing may be considered in a patient with a strong clinical suspicion of an IgE-mediated disease with negative skin prick tests. Intradermal testing is frequently used for inhalant allergen sensitivity in the United States. However, the general approach of health authorities is not to use it in infants, even in children, unless it is mandatory. It is mostly for adults.

4.Blood Test (measurement of IgE Antibody levels) These tests are also done while their child is on antihistamine medication. Although it is a very useful test, it should be performed under the supervision of an experienced doctor in order to interpret the test results correctly. It has been observed that the number of IgE antibodies in allergic children increases approximately 10 times more than in normal individuals.


These blood tests are based on ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay). This test is usually; It is used in case of a life-threatening reaction (anaphylaxis) after exposure to an allergen, In case of conditions that prevent the skin test from being performed, such as active dermatitis or severe dermographism. With this method, it can be determined which component of the allergen causes clinical findings. It offers a more accurate approach in clinical diagnosis and determination of cross-reactions. Better results are obtained when it is used in predicting the development of tolerance with its allergen feature and in the selection of vaccines in patients to whom immunotherapy will be applied.

If you suspect an allergic reaction in your child, we recommend that you consult a specialist without delay. We also recommend you to read the article on “The New Rules of Food Allergy Prevention, Testing and Diagnosis” published in The New York Times. Get well soon.

You can also read our other articles under the “Health” heading about your baby’s health.

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