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The Pros And Cons Of A Skin Test Versus A Blood Test When Being Tested For Pet Allergies

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If you get red, itchy eyes, a runny nose or a sore throat when you are around cats or dogs, you may have an allergy to them. However, the only way to know for sure is to have an allergy test done by your doctor. There are two common ways that you can be tested for pet allergies. The first is through a skin test. With a skin test, a needle is inserted into your arm and a small amount of the allergen is added. If you are allergic, a reaction will occur. The other method is a blood test. Blood is drawn and antibodies are looked at to determine what you are allergic to. There are pros and cons to both methods. Learning the pros and cons will help you decide which is the better option for you. 

The Cons of a Skin Test Versus a Blood Test When Being Tested For Pet Allergies

  • A Reaction Can Be Uncomfortable

One of the downsides of a skin test is that it can be uncomfortable if you have a reaction. Depending on the severity of your allergy, your arm may turn red, itch, swell up or a rash may develop in the area. When a blood test is done, the allergen is not injected in you, meaning you won't be uncomfortable. 

  • You May Have a Severe Reaction

The other major disadvantage to a skin test is that some people may have a severe reaction. If you have experienced symptoms, such as trouble breathing or your throat tightening, when you are around pets, a doctor may decline to do a skin test for fear of anaphylaxis. Unfortunately, there are not always past warning signs, and while rare, this can occur unexpectedly when having a skin test for pet allergies in some people. 

The Pros of a Skin Test Versus a Blood Test When Being Tested For Pet Allergies

  • You Get Results Faster

The biggest advantage to a skin test is that you get the results faster. Typically, you will begin to have symptoms within 15 minutes of an allergen being injected into your arm if you are allergic to it. That means you will know right away if you have an allergy. It can take days to get results back from blood tests. 

  • Skin Tests Are Usually Cheaper Than Blood Tests

The other benefit to skin tests is that they are usually cheaper than blood tests. Blood tests are typically done at a lab. This means you have to pay your doctor to see you to order the labs and then the lab to draw your blood and test it. This ends up costing more than going to your doctor and having them perform a skin test in their office. If money is a concern, this is an important pro to keep in mind. 

If you suspect you are allergic to cats or dogs, consult with your doctor. They will order an allergy test to determine whether you are allergic to pets or whether something else in the environment is causing your symptoms. Visit a site like for more help.