How do doctors test for food allergies?

The most important aspect of assessing food allergies is the history of what happens after a certain food is eaten.

Skin Prick Test

Doctors will then perform a skin prick test, typically on the forearm or back, using concentrated extracts of the food in question.

We then wait approximately 10 minutes to see if a wheal or hive forms.

A presence of a hive suggests evidence of food allergy.

Read Tips On How To Navigate a New Allergy Diagnosis

The doctor interprets the result of skin testing in the context of the history and then provides guidance on what steps should be taken with specific foods.

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About Dr. Allison Kwan, MD, FRCPC, FRCPC

Dr. Allison Kwan is a pediatric allergist. She completed her medical degree at the University of Toronto, followed by a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, and a pediatric immunology and allergy fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children.

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