Skin Prick versus Blood Test?

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My girls have never had the blood test for their food allergies. Our allergist said that the blood test is often innacurate and that the skin prick test is much better. He said he only does the blood test on people who are known to be severely anphalyactic.

However, over the years I've realized that a skin prick test is, in fact, an "exposure." So it's a catch-22, isn't it? Is skin prick the best way to go, or is my allergist just not a very good doctor?

It will soon be 5 years since my girls were skin-prick tested. I would like to get them tested again within the next few years and I'm not sure if I should trust my current allergist or find someone new to treat them.

I'd appreciate some feedback from other parents who have been down a similar road.

On Aug 25, 2008

My DS's allergist was the same way. He thought the SPT was more sensative and more accurate so when he was first tested at 4 months old it was a SPT only and no RAST. Then when we went back a year later it was another SPT. His wheal on the second SPT was bigger than his first test at 4 months old. I convinced him that I wanted to do a RAST just to see his numbers and follow those. He agreed and we had a RAST done. His numbers are barely over the positive mark. We have since moved and I'm not sure what they will do here (we are military and have to go with the post hospital) but I'm thinking they would do a RAST then if the numbers fall below the positive mark do another SPT.

I personally would say if you don't feel comfortable doing another SPT don't do it. Demand that you would rather check the RAST first, if the numbers are low THEN do a SPT. Let the allergist know you would rather monitor the numbers in the RAST test. If he won't go by your wants for your child then find a different allergist. JMO.

On Aug 25, 2008

Our old allergist did the blood test and it showed up with ridiculous positives - things I feed the kids daily. I requested a skin test and he said "in a few years" and to keep feeding the kids stuff I give daily as long as there are no reactions. This made me very uncomfortable, so I switched allergists.

When asked about blood vs. skin tests, our new allergist said the blood test commonly give a lot of false positives. The previous office said they are reliable (one nurse even said more accurate). Anyway, my son got the skin test and only tested positive to a few things. Even stuff that was a four on the blood test was negative on the skin test!

Anyway, blood tests mean nothing to me unless, of course, it was all negative! I hope this helps.