Home Allergy Testing FAQ

allergy test kit in a grassy field

Frequently Asked Questions

Ready to finally find out what you're allergic to?

What allergens does the Picnic Home Allergy Test test for?

The Picnic Home Allergy Test tests your blood’s allergen-specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE) level for 294 different allergens (in the form of molecular components and extracts), including foods (154), pollens (59), animals (25), mites and cockroaches (26), molds and yeasts (13), insect venoms (10), and others (7). The full list of allergens is below.

Foods: Oats, Quinoa, Buckwheat (allergens nFag e and nFag e 2), Barley, Lupine seeds, Rice, Millet, Cultivated rye, Wheat (nTri a aA_TI, rTri a 14, and rTri a 19), Spelt, Corn (rZea m and rZea m 14), Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppy seeds (nPap s and nPap s 2S Albumin), Sesame seeds (nSes i and nSes i 1), Fenugreek seeds, Egg whites (nGal d_white, nGal d 1, nGal d 2, nGal d 3, and nGal d 4), Egg yolks (nGal d 5 and nGal d_yolk), Camel's milk, Cow's milk (nBos d_milk, nBos d 4, nBos d 5, and nBos d 8), Goat's milk, Mare's milk, Sheep's milk, Kiwi (nAct d 1, nAct d 2, nAct d 5, and nAct d 10), Papaya, Oranges, Muskmelons, Figs, Strawberries, Apples (rMal d 1, nMal d 2, and rMal d 3), Mangos, Bananas, Cherries, Peaches, Pears, Blueberries, Grapes, Peanuts (nAra h 1, rAra h 2, nAra h 3, rAra h 6, rAra h 8, rAra h 9, and rAra h 15), Chickpeas, Soy (rGly m 4, rGly m 5, nGly m 6, and nGly m 8), Lentils, Green beans, Peas, Cashews (rAna o, rAna o 2, and rAna o 3), Brazil nuts (rBer e and rBer e 1), Pecans, Hazelnuts (rCor a 1.0401, rCor a 8, nCor a 9, nCor a 11, and rCor a 14), Walnuts (nJug r 1, nJug r 2, rJug r 3, nJug r 4, and nJug r 6), Macadamia nuts (nMac i 2S Albumin and nMac inte E), Pistachios (rPis v 1, nPis v 2, and nPis v 3), Almonds, Anisakis simplex (rAni s 1 and rAni s 3), Crab, Atlantic herring (rClu h and rClu h 1), Brown shrimp, Carp, Atlantic cod (nGad m, nGad m 1, and nGad m 2+3), Lobster, Shrimp mix, Squid, Common Mussels, Oysters, Northern prawns, Scallops, Black tiger shrimp (rPen m 1, rPen m 2, rPen m 3, and rPen m 4), Thornback ray (rRaj c and rRaj c Parvalbumin), Venus clams, Salmon (rSal s and rSal s 1), Atlantic mackerel (rSco s and rSco s 1), Tuna (Thu a and Thu a 1), Swordfish, Anise, Caraway, Mustard (rSin and rSin a 1), Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, House crickets, Beef (nBos d_meat and nBos d 6), Horse meat, Chicken, Migratory locusts, Turkey, Rabbit, Lamb, Pork (rSus d_meat and rSus d 1), Mealworms, Onions, Garlic, Celery (rApi g 1, rApi g 2, and rApi g 6), Carrots (rDau c and rDau c 1), Avocados, Potatoes, and Tomatoes (rSola l and rSola l 6)

Pollens: Bahia grass, Bermuda grass (rCyn d and rCyn d 1), Common reed grass, Timothy grass (rPhl p 1, rPhl p 2, rPhl p 5.0101, rPhl p 6, rPhl p 7, and rPhl p 12), Perennial ryegrass, Ryegrass, Acacia trees, Arizona cypress trees, Cypress trees, Alder trees (rAln g 1 and rAln g 4), Ash trees (rFra e and rFra e 1), Cottonwood trees, Beech trees, Date palm trees, Elm trees, Hazel trees (rCor a_pollen and rCor a 1.0103), Mountain cedar trees, Mulberry trees, London plane trees (rPla a 1, nPla a 2, and rPla a 3), Olive trees (nOle e 1 and rOle e 9), Silver birch trees (rBet v 1, rBet v 2, and rBet v 6), Sugi trees, Walnut trees, Weeping fig trees, Paper mulberry trees, Tree of heaven, Pigweed, Ragweed (rAmb a, rAmb a 1, and rAmb a 4), Mugwort (rArt v, rArt v 1.0101, and rArt v 3.0201), Lamb's quarters (rChe a and rChe a 1), Cannabis (CBD), Hemp, Annual mercury, Wall pellitory (rPar j and rPar j 2), Ribwort (rPla l and rPla l 1), Russian thistle (rSal k and rSal k 1), and Nettles

Animals: Cats (rFel d 1, nFel d 2, rFel d 4, and rFel d 7), Dogs (rCan f 1, rCan f 2, nCan f 3, rCan f 4, rCan f 5, rCan f 6, and rCan f Fel d 1 like), Horses (rEqu c 1, nEqu c 3, and rEqu c 4), Sheep, Cattle, Goats, Mice, Pigs, Djungarian hamsters, Guinea pigs, Rabbits (rOry c 1, rOry c 2, and rOry c 3), and Rats

Mites and cockroaches: American house dust mites (rDer f 1 and rDer f 2), European house dust mites (rDer p 1, rDer p 2, rDer p 5, rDer p 7, rDer p 10, rDer p 11, rDer p 20, rDer p 21, and rDer p 23), American cockroaches (rPer a and rPer a 7), German cockroaches (rBla g 1, rBla g 2, rBla g 4, rBla g 5, and rBla g 9), Acarus siro, Blomia tropicalis (rBlo t 5, rBlo t 10, and rBlo t 21), Glycyphagus domesticus, Tyrophagus putrescentiae (rTyr p and rTyr p 2), and Lepidoglyphus destructor

Molds and yeasts: Alternaria alternata (rAlt a 1 and rAlt a 6), Aspergillus fumigatus (rAsp f 1, rAsp f 3, rAsp f 4, and rAsp f 6), Cladosporium herbarum (rCla h and rCla h 8), Penicilium chrysogenum, Malassezia sympodialis (rMala s 5, rMala s 6, and rMala s 11), and Baker's yeast

Insect venoms: Fire ants, Long-headed wasps, Paper wasps (Pol d and rPol d 5), Common wasps (rVes v, rVes v 1, and rVes v 5), and Honey bees (rApi m, nApi m 1, and rApi m10)

Others: Latex (rHev b 1, rHev b 3, rHev b 5, rHev b 6.02, rHev b 8, and rHev b 11) and Pigeon ticks

Who is eligible to purchase and take a Picnic Home Allergy Test?

The Picnic Home Allergy Test can be purchased and used by adults 18 years or older in all US states except for Delaware, Kansas, Idaho, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. This is due to state laws around the use of telemedicine or at-home allergy testing specifically.

Can the Picnic Home Allergy Test clinically diagnose my allergies?

Yes! Doctors can make a specific allergy diagnosis using either a skin prick test or a specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE) test like the Picnic Home Allergy Test. Once your lab results are available, your Picnic doctor will interpret them in the context of your clinical history to provide you with a diagnosis.

However, this only applies to environmental allergens like pollens, pets, dust mites, and mold. Other kinds of allergies like food, latex, and insect stings require a higher level of interpretation with an in-person allergist before you can receive a diagnosis. While you’ll see specific IgE levels for these allergens in your test report, these results describe sensitization only.

What’s the difference between sensitization, allergy, and intolerance?

This test measures IgE, an antibody your body makes to defend itself against allergens. If IgE is present in your blood for any given allergen, you’re considered to be sensitized to it.

You’re only allergic to something if you’re sensitized to it and you have a history of symptoms around it. If you’ve never had a history of allergic reactions to a particular trigger, any results that seem positive based on your IgE levels could be false positives.

Food intolerances are something different. While allergies affect the immune system, intolerances affect the digestive system. And in fact, there’s no evidence that the presence of the antibodies that at-home food intolerance tests measure can reliably predict intolerances anyway.

What’s the difference between Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG)? Which one does the Picnic Home Allergy Test test for?

When you have a genetic or environmental predisposition to developing allergies, your body’s T-cells and B-cells interact to produce an antibody called IgE in response to a specific allergen.

IgG is another antibody your body produces after encountering certain foods. However, the presence of specific IgG in your blood only indicates past exposure to that food and not necessarily an intolerance.

The Picnic Home Allergy Test only measures IgE as IgG is not involved in allergic reactions.

How reliable are the results compared to other at-home allergy tests?

The results of the Picnic Home Allergy Test are comparable to those of ThermoFisher’s ImmunoCAP, considered the gold standard in allergy testing in terms of specificity and sensitivity, but with a significantly reduced risk of false positives—due to our unique CCD-blocking technology—relative to other at-home allergy tests that don't utilize this technology.

What testing technology does the Picnic Home Allergy Test use?

We use the ALEX2 technology developed by our global partner MacroArrayDx. This is a multiplex IgE test that uses a solid-phase immunoassay to test for 294 allergens (which cause 99% of all allergies). This proprietary technology also significantly reduces the risk of false positives due to the presence of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CDS).

How does Picnic’s Home Allergy Test compare to other at-home allergy testing products?

The Picnic Home Allergy Test tests for 294 potential allergens, which is 85% more than most other at-home allergy tests. Our partner lab is CLIA-certified as well as CAP- and COLA-accredited, ensuring that they adhere to the most comprehensive and scientifically endorsed laboratory standards.

Plus, because we consider your clinical history of symptoms as well as your blood test results, we’re able to provide true allergy diagnoses rather than just a report of IgE sensitization.

What happens after I order my Home Allergy Test?

After you complete your purchase, we’ll direct you to answer a few questions about your allergy symptoms so your doctor can provide you with a real allergy diagnosis. We’ll also ship you your test kit. Once it arrives, follow the step-by-step instructions provided in the box to collect your blood sample and activate your test online.

Then, you’ll pack your sample in the prepaid return envelope provided and mail it to our lab for testing (within 24 hours of taking it). When your results are available, we’ll share them with you as well as your doctor to assess and put together a diagnosis. If you have any questions after receiving your results, you can message your doctor directly.

How much blood do I need to provide?

600 microliters (that’s about ⅛ of a teaspoon). Any less and we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to test your sample. All you need to do is fill the sample tube to the 600 line and you’ll be set.

Please note that you’ll also need to write your date of birth on your sample tube so the lab can verify it’s yours.

How long will it take to receive my results?

About a week after you mail us your blood sample, you’ll receive your test results as well as a note from your doctor containing your specific allergy diagnosis. We’ll send you an email when they’re ready.

What does the Picnic Home Allergy Test kit include?

The kit includes everything you’ll need for your allergy test: an instruction booklet, a sample tube, three sterile lancets, alcohol wipes, bandages, a welcome card with your unique activation code, and a prepaid return label and envelope.

Is the Picnic Home Allergy Test FSA/HSA-eligible?

Yes, most FSA and HSA cards are accepted by Picnic. If yours isn’t accepted during the checkout process, simply shoot us an email at help@picnicallergy.com asking that we add your card to the list of accepted cards, and we’ll work with our payment processor to get your payment approved.

What if I am interested in food allergies?

Picnic's Home Allergy Test tests for 154 types of food allergens. You can see the allergens we test for here. After you receive your test results, our Picnic providers will focus on diagnosis and guidance for your environmental allergies. You would be asked to seek out an in-person allergist for any follow-ups related to your food test results. That allergist will be able to guide you on any next steps that are clinically necessary for your food concerns.