Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:
Dr. Beerelli is providing telehealth visits to help you stay on top of your allergies. Check out our COVID-19 policies before your next visit.

Get to the Bottom of Your Allergic Reactions!

Types of Allergy Testing in Melbourne, FL

Learn about different types of allergy testing in Melbourne, FL offered by board-certified Allergist Dr. Pavana Beerelli, including skin testing, blood testing, and food and drug challenges. Schedule your visit today!

“Melbourne Allergy and Asthma office was quick and easy to get an appointment even during the pandemic. Dr. Pavana Beerelli met with us by telehealth and was able to provide excellent insight into my child’s eczema and allergies. It was such a relief to finally have a treatment plan for my child. Dr. Beerelli was helpful and thorough in her approach. I would highly recommend her to anyone.”

– Danielle J, July 2020

Skin testing doctor Pavana Beerelli of Melbourne Allegy & Asthma in Brevard County, FL
Skin allergy doctor Pavana Beerelli of Melbourne Allergy & Asthma review badges and affiliations
Melbourne Allergy & Asthma horizontal logo

Different Types of Allergy Testing

Skin Testing
Blood Testing
Food Allergy Testing
Drug Allergy Testing
Nasal Allergy Testing

Skin Testing

Skin testing is considered the primary diagnostic technique for many allergies including:
Skin testing is considered the primary diagnostic technique for many allergies including:
Female patient undergoing skin testing for allergies

Methods for Skin Testing

Prick / Puncture

  • Commonly performed as initial testing.
  • Involves applying liquid droplets of a concentrated allergen extract to the surface of the forearm or upper back and making a tiny prick through each drop on the surface of your skin.
  • If you are allergic to any of the substances, a raised and red bump (wheal) will appear within 15 to 20 minutes of the skin prick. The diameter of the wheal is compared to the controls to determine if there was a true allergic reaction.
  • Intradermal

  • Typically performed when a prick or puncture test comes back negative but your doctor still believes you may be allergic to a particular substance.
  • Helps detect weaker allergic responses but can potentially trigger a severe, systemic allergic reaction.
  • Highly sensitive and optimal for detecting venom allergies.
  • Involves injecting a small amount of allergen extract directly under the surface of the skin through a needle. A negative control without any allergen extract is also injected for comparison purposes. The diameters of any resulting red bumps, known as wheals, are measured to determine if there was a positive allergic reaction.
  • Unacceptable for testing food or latex allergies due to the possibility of severe systemic reaction.
  • Patch Testing

  • Performed in patients who may have allergic contact dermatitis or delayed skin reactions.
  • Helps evaluate allergies to local anesthetics, cosmetics ingredients, metals found in jewelry, and latex.
  • Small quantities of different, suspected allergens are placed on the skin in separate chambers and bandaged over. Approximately 2 to 4 days later, patches of inflammation may be present in certain chambers, indicating allergic reaction. You could also have a delayed skin reaction, which is found when the patch is removed after 1 week.
  • Blood Testing

    Blood tests are helpful for identifying allergies to insect stings, some medicines and foods, mold, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.

    Blood tests measure the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody levels in the blood, which will be elevated after an allergic reaction. Broadly speaking, there are 2 types of blood tests including total IgE and specific IgE. Total IgE blood testing indicates if an allergic reaction occurred but will not be able to distinguish the specific allergen. A specific IgE test, on the other hand, measures IgE antibody levels in response to individual allergens.

    Female patient undergoing blood testing for allergies
    Blood tests are used when skin testing may cause problems. For example, blood tests are conducted when:
  • A skin test must be verified due to a suspected false positive or false negative. For instance, patients who may have a food allergy to crustacean seafood (shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.) may get a false positive skin test. This is due to sensitization to dust mites, spiders, and cockroaches, which are closely related to crustaceans.
  • The patient’s skin is easily irritated as a result of a severe skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema.
  • A skin test is too risky to conduct due to medication that interferes with skin testing, and the patient’s medicine cannot be stopped temporarily.
  • Testing with a strong allergen may cause an overwhelmingly positive reaction that results in anaphylaxis.
  • Unlike skin tests, blood tests only require a single needle prick. Patients who are on medication can continue to stay on their medicine without it interfering with allergy testing. However, blood results take some time to receive and depending on the test, there may still be false positives. Additionally, blood tests typically cost more than skin tests.

    Food Allergy Testing

    Oral Food Challenge

    Consuming a small amount of the suspected food allergen in a supervised, medical setting can help confirm an allergy or verify if you have outgrown one.

    Elimination Diet

    You may be asked to temporarily eliminate specific foods from your diet that are suspected allergens for 2 to 4 weeks. If your allergic symptoms disappear during this time, it is likely that one or more of the eliminated foods was the allergen.
    Food challenge for food allergy testing

    Skin Test

    Your allergist may suggest a skin-prick test, where small volumes of food allergens (and controls) are placed on your skin and pricked with a sterile needle. After 20 minutes, the skin is re-examined for any bumps.

    Blood Test

    A blood test can measure the amount of IgE antibody circulating in the blood in reaction to the specific food allergen of interest.

    Drug Allergy Testing

    Skin Test

    Your allergist may suggest a skin-prick test, where small volumes of suspected drug allergens (and controls) are placed on your skin and pricked with a sterile needle. Skin patch testing can also help identify delayed but positive allergic reactions to allergens such as neomycin antibiotic or corticosteroids.

    Blood Test

    Circulating levels of drug-specific IgE antibody in the blood can help your allergist determine if you have a drug allergy.

    Oral Drug Challenge

    Your allergist may ask you to take the suspected drug allergen under medical supervision and monitor your reaction.
    Drug samples for drug allergy testing

    Nasal Allergy Testing

    Skin Test

    Prick and intradermal skin testing can be done to determine if you have allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, which causes symptoms like watery eyes, runny nose, and congestion.

    Blood Test

    Circulating levels of total and/or specific IgE antibody in the blood can help your allergist determine if you have a nasal allergy.

    Provocation Test

    When patients do not exhibit a strong allergic reaction on their skin, an allergist may elect to perform a provocation test. To see if you have allergic rhinitis or an allergy to certain types of pollen, different allergens are applied to the mucous lining of your nose. Your allergist will observe the severity of your symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes.

    Allergic Asthma Testing

    Spirometry (Lung Function Testing)

    A spirometer is a small instrument that measures how much air you can breathe in and out. During spirometry testing, you inhale deeply and exhale as forcefully and quickly as possible over several trials. The spirometer records the lung function. Spirometry is a good diagnostic test for asthma. However, it is not for everyone, especially infants or children under five years of age.

    Skin Test

    A skin prick test using pollen, mold, and dust allergens can help your allergist determine if you have allergic asthma.

    Blood Test

    Circulating levels of total and/or specific IgE antibody in the blood can help your allergist determine if your asthma is triggered by a particular allergen.
    Quick Links

    Allergy Testing

    Melbourne Allergy & Asthma vertical logo

    Allergy Testing in Melbourne, FL

    Dealing with an unknown allergic reaction? Get tested in Melbourne, FL. Dr. Beerelli is passionate about treating each of her patients with empathy, attentiveness and respect.

    Skin allergy doctor Pavana Beerelli of Melbourne Allegy & Asthma in Brevard County, FL

    Schedule Your Visit

    We are currently accepting new patients!
    We look forward to your visit!

    Call Melbourne Allergy & Asthma icon

    Call us anytime,
    M-F, 8:30am-5:00pm

    Instant message Melbourne Allergy & Asthma icon

    Instant Messaging
    Use Our Chat Window

    We typically respond
    within 3 to 5 minutes

    Email Melbourne Allergy & Asthma icon

    Email us or use this 
    contact form

    You can also use this contact form for general inquiries.