Skin vs. RAST: Which Allergy Test Should You Take?

Woman having an allergy test

Allergies are annoying at best, and deadly at worst. Some people discover what they’re allergic to at an early age, adjusting their lifestyle to fit around the inconvenience. There are others, however, who live most of their lives without learning about their allergies. It’s a chance to take, as some medications you would inevitably ingest might contain the one element you’re allergic to.

The doctors at Tinley Park believe in effective communication with patients. That is why it is essential to let them know what your allergies are, in case you are prescribed medicines that contain the chemical you’re not supposed to take.

Which One Should You Take?

Allergy tests are considered preventive screening tests. They are covered by most insurance plans, which is why you should take advantage of them, considering that most screening procedures are covered at 100%.

There are two types of tests done to check for allergies. The more common one is the skin allergy test. The skin on your arm will be lightly pricked, and a substance applied to the area. If the area begins to itch or swell, that means you’re likely allergic to that substance. It’s not 100% accurate, but it can give you an idea of your allergies if any.

The other type of test is called RAST (Radioallergosorbent). The blood test will look for specific antibodies in your blood. The more of those antibodies you contain, the more you are allergic to a particular food. This test is mostly used to check if you’re allergic to any medication.

Why Should You Take Them?

Your allergies can affect crucial decisions in your life, especially when you find out too late. Adopting a pet, for example, and finding out later that you are allergic to this type of animal or its fur would be devastating. Another example would be taking a simple headache medication and discovering that you are allergic to some of its properties.

Even if you think you don’t need to know, it’s best to find out if you have allergies to particular food or medicines, just in case you do have. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but so can allergies.