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Allergies and intolerances

Skin tests - advice please

4 replies

boobum · 13/04/2008 10:47

My son has to go for skin allergy tests and I wondered if anyone could shed any light on what they involve. My concern really is that they'll be painful. Thanks in advance.

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MetalMummy · 13/04/2008 15:54

This is what happened when DS1 went for allergy testing at Leicester in January. As soon as we got there ds was weighed and measured, then we saw the consultant who wanted to know about what reactions he'd had, about his eczema and asthma etc, etc, then we saw a nurse who did the skin prick tests. they drew one long line down DS1s forearm and then drew lines across so there was a box either side of the line. they then put a drop of liquid containing each allergen in each box and then pricked the skin under each drop of liquid with a small needle (new one each time of course). We then had to go and sit in the waiting room for 20 mins to wait to see if he reacted to anything. If there has been a reaction then a welt will appear in the box, the nurse then measures it to see how strong the reaction is. It was a bit uncomfortable for him but didn't actually hurt, where he did have a positive reaction his arm did get quite itchy but we were told to just blow on his arm to ease this a bit.

After the skin prick tests we then saw the dietician to discuss what the results meant for his diet and what food needed to be avoided, then we saw the consultant again to discuss the results and then dh had to go to the pharmacy to fetch DS1s epipen and then the nurses showed us how to use it.

Even though they tested for loads of different allergens they couldn't test for everything because there are just too many, they tested for things that we thought DS had had a reaction too and the more common allergens.

The tests aren't conclusive though, in blood tests last year he tested positive for allergies to milk and wheat and we know from doing an elimination diet that they set off his eczema, but in the skin prick testing he had no reaction to them at all. The consultant said that this is because it takes a build up in his system of wheat and milk to cause his eczema to flare up (usually 2-4 days of having them) and it's not an immediate reaction. He is still allergic to them though because it is an immune system response.

Sorry this has got really long, hope you go on ok

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boobum · 13/04/2008 17:26

Thanks metalmummy. Not long atall - exactly the info I was after!

My son is being tested for acute hayfever to see which pollen triggers it and if eliminating any foods helps.

Thanks again.

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wb · 14/04/2008 09:02

boobum, skin tests are not pleasant but really aren't painful - it really is a prick (rather than an injection or anything like that). Toddlers tend to make a fuss (well, mine does) but older children seem to take it in their stride.

You can give piriton after all testing/measuring etc is finished to ease any itching.

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PatsyCline · 14/04/2008 09:20

My DD2 (2) had them done last month and the nurse made a lovely story up about the drops being puddles and the pricks putting their wellies on and jumping into them. DD2 loved it!

Don't worry too much about your DS. The hospitals are used to dealing with kids and, in my experience, do a fantastic job in keeping them distracted. DD2 had bloods taken the last time and because she had magic cream on and someone bobbing about blowing bubbles in front of her she didn't care what the nurses were up to with he hand.

Good luck

Patsy

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