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What is a skin prick test like?

(19 Posts)
notso Thu 13-Feb-14 17:20:10

DS2 3 is having one in a couple of weeks and I am just wondering what to expect.

overthemill Thu 13-Feb-14 17:23:11

Dd has had these. They find good bit of skin (on back often) and literally tiny scratch a minute bit of allergen onto skin. Repeat for each one (dd had loads). Wait for a bit and see what happens and compare result to chart which shows any allergies eg dog beech pollen cat etc
We got bingo as she's allergic to everything
It doesn't hurt

MissYamabuki Thu 13-Feb-14 17:25:54

Itchy, if you are allergic to whatever they're testing! Painless. I had mine on my arms.


notso Thu 13-Feb-14 17:29:29

Thanks, this is for peanut, tree nuts, don't know what else. He has reacted to peanuts from being touched but we have managed to avoid them for a year now.

Charmingbaker Thu 13-Feb-14 17:34:09

My DS (aged 2 at the time) wasn't that bothered by the test itself, however he complained all the way home about the pen marks on his arm (they write in biro beside each prick so they know which one is which).

notso Thu 13-Feb-14 17:40:41

grin Charmingbaker.

How bad were the reactions? The allergy nurse mentioned anaphylaxis which has alarmed me somewhat.

CokeFan Thu 13-Feb-14 17:44:14

DD had hers on her arm (egg and dairy allergy). They did write on the arm to show which test was which. They also did a positive (histamine) and a negative (just water) test. They measured the resulting red bump that you get for a positive test after a few minutes.

Charmingbaker Thu 13-Feb-14 18:00:25

He didn't react at all in hospital, he was literally just freaking out because someone had drawn on his arms! He was however very wheezy for about 3 evenings after the test. In my DSs case he was tested as he had a persistent runny nose, he has coeliac disease and our consultant did the skin prick tests during a routine appointment. The fact he reacted later means he has a bit of an allergy to one of the things he tested, but not enough to be a concern.
I'm pretty sure an anaphylactic shock would happen immediately, and the staff would know exactly what to do. If they do suspect a severe allergy it is better to find out in hospital.

KippyVonKipperson Thu 13-Feb-14 18:03:29

It's also just a bit of plastic that scratches the top layer of skin, so not a needle or anything. My 6 month old didn't cry or anything so not painful, although some babies/children may not like being held still. His reactions were about the size of a 5p, maybe less.

notso Thu 13-Feb-14 18:35:38

Thanks all for the info. I feel a bit better about it now. I hope he has grown out of it.

eragon Fri 14-Feb-14 13:59:15

our son has had lots of skin prick tests, and with a selection of hive /wheal flares.

our daughter has just start having them for new allergies.

they normally have them done on the arm, and it does get itchy and if that causes a problem nurse gives a bit of ice in blue paper towel or a wet towel once measurements are taken to cool off skin.

despite having flares follow a vein up an arm, we have never had a problem with these tests. SPT are pretty safe, and give you an instant results there at the hospital rather than waiting 2 weeks for results of a blood test.
so worth doing imo.

mistlethrush Fri 14-Feb-14 14:02:14

I tested negative on the blood test AND on the skin prick test then went down with full on anaphalaxis when they tried me with the substance (paracetamol). Not ideal!

FatNotFit Fri 14-Feb-14 14:02:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gamerchick Fri 14-Feb-14 14:04:25


DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 19-Feb-14 19:01:02

Why can't you shower for a week? We were never given that advice.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 19-Feb-14 19:01:43

Hope out goes well OPsmile

babybarrister Sun 23-Feb-14 21:39:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

greenbananas Sun 23-Feb-14 23:08:15

DS1, aged 5, had skin prick tests a month ago. He said "ouch!!" very loudly the first time they pricked him, and snuggled into me, looking a bit surprised and worried (even though we had warned him it might hurt). The nurse smiled reassuringly, and told him to bite his teeth together. Then he sat calmly on my lap while they pricked him 9 more times. He flinched a bit, but there was no drama. Once he had got over the initial prick, he knew what to expect.

My son is not particularly brave by nature and, although he was on good form and very well behaved that day, please believe me when I say that he would most definitely have let me know if the pain was unbearable!

It's probably a bit like plucking your eyebrows - hurts the first time, but then you get used to it and ignore the (slight) pain.

At the end, DS got a signed certificate for being brave - and he was so ridiculously proud of this that he took it into school to show all his teachers. We still have it stuck to the living room wall!

From what I can see, skin prick tests are not exactly comfortable, but neither are they dreadful. Hope they go well for you.

greenbananas Sun 23-Feb-14 23:15:21

btw, it made me laugh that the nurses just use normal biro for drawing on the arms, and ordinary sellotape for taking imprints of the size of the weals. I was kind of expecting specialist equipment... but if biro and sellotape work fine then that is good enough smile

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