There are 2 types of skin tests in use today. The percutaneous test, which scratches the surface layer of skin, and the intradermal test, which uses a needle to inject the test allergen. Dr. Anand will usually administer the percutaneous test first, and the intradermal tests may be administered to give him more information about the child’s specific allergy. Tests are typically performed on a child’s back, so they can’t scratch any spots that react to the test agents. There’s usually a wait time of about 15 minutes before checking reactions. If any test spots do react, the spot itches and swells. Once its severity is noted, an anti-itch cream or oral antihistamine reduces the symptoms. Blood tests may be ordered to gain more information on other allergen susceptibilities. Food allergies usually involve an elimination diet to pinpoint the culprit.
The first step in preparation involves discontinuing antihistamine medications at least a week prior to the test, since these take some time to clear the body. As with many unknowns, the thought of an allergy test is frightening to some children. Being upfront with your child is usually the best option. Use a toothpick and press lightly against the skin of their back to simulate a percutaneous test. Let them know that if they have an itchy spot, it means that they’ve discovered something to which the child is allergic.
This depends on the substance and the nature of the allergy. Antihistamines may reduce symptoms of some allergies. Immunotherapy aids the body to develop its defenses by providing a small dose of the allergen on a periodic basis to help the body’s immune system build resistance. Immunotherapy may be administered by injection or through under the tongue application. Food allergies may require removing certain foods from the child’s diet along with getting ingredient information and making careful choices when dining out.
At Sunshine Pediatrics, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.