? about skin prick testing...


I am having my 6 yr old son skin-prick tested for the first time next week. Any advice on preparing him for this? And just how bad IS it??? I am expecting them to test him for a LOT of things, because RAST came back showing reactions to virtually everything on the panels. (Also I was told that his high positive reaction to peanut and milk could have skewed the results of other things in the panel on the rast?? Anyone heard of this happening???) Thanks! ~joellen

On Dec 29, 2005

Hi Joellen,

The skin test is not horribly bad, just very, very itchy skin if there is a positive reaction. It's not painful, just uncomfortable. I'm not sure about the RAST question. I've only recently learned of this test and Brandon, who is also 6, never had it done. His allergist didn't feel it was necessary because he said it wouldn't change his treatment for Brandon. He left it up to me if I wanted to have the test done, but Brandon is very anxious about needles and blood, so I decided to skip it. He has a confirmed peanut allergy with two non-threatening reactions - eye swelling from PB&J sandwich being placed in front of him and picking up the sandwich and rubbing his eyes and one reaction of hives from unknown source in science class and also had two positive skin tests.


On Dec 29, 2005

My now 7-year old was only 3 when we did the skin prick test and I have to say for a 3-year old it was awful. DS still remembers it as a horrible experience, worse than immunizations or the dentist.

However, I think for an older child who understands what is happening it would be no worse than the dentist. The pricks themselves hurt only briefly, but the itching from the positive results and the need to hold still was the hard part.

I should also note that my allergist did NOT do a prick test for peanuts, since my DS had already had a clear anaphylatic reaction to peanut exposure, and the skin prick itself does have some risk of a severe reaction.

Hope this helps!

On Dec 29, 2005

a spt on a 6yr old? Ok.

Picture a big ole lego block, with pr!cks on each end. Each one is a different allergen.

Its itchy. You need to be off antihistamines for a bit, going INTO the test (so, no Benadryl the days before, kwim? otherwise the test isnt accurate.

You get wheals (bumps) as to how much the allergen is 'allergic', kwim?

The higher the bump, the more allergenic. (not really).

Use as a guide, along with RAST.

Not 100% accurate. If he itches, could rub the allergen into another box, kwim?

Bring toys. Bring something to keep him busy.

[I] wouldnt do a SPT on Caitlin now. WAY too itchy IMO... and RAST works for HER situation.

Anaphylaxis COULD occur, since peanut IS touching the body, kwim? SOME docs dont nut/peanut SPT's IF there is concern over that, kwim?

Be prepared!

Good luck!


------------------ [b]* Obsessed * [/b]

On Dec 29, 2005

Thanks so much, everyone!! I am thinking about just skipping the prick for peanut, since it's just more exposure, like you said, and I already know that he has touch sensitivity...what good will that really do anyway. I really appreciate the great advice. We actually did have the original appt yesterday but had to change it to next week because I had to give him Benadryl on Sun night...oh well! Since he is a bit older maybe it won't be sooo bad...that is definitely good to know! thanks again! joellen

On Dec 29, 2005

I should also add that we were glad we did the test, since it picked up an allergy to salmon we didn't know about, and I think this is a "real" allergy, since he has subsequently had coughing fits when around salmon frying.

On Dec 29, 2005

If you have the option to skip the peanut prick - do it. My 5 yo DD had her first skin test since her original diagnosis two years ago. The allergist only tested for peanuts, and it of course swelled and itched like crazy. Then, in the car on the way home, she was still crying and very flushed/red-faced, and started making this gurgling, crackling sound when she breathed. I quick spun the car around back to the allergists office where she had a breathing treatment, prednisone, and we left with a 3 day script for more prednisone. She had not reacted like this to the skin test when she had it the first time, so that tells me her allergy has not improved at all. We won't be having another skin test with the peanut - ever.

On Jan 2, 2006

Also, if you do the skin prick test for peanuts and get no reaction, your child may still be allergic to peanuts.

Mine is.

------------------ Jean DS PA & watermelon allergic (9/2005 neg RAST peanut & watermelon; 9/2005 skin test neg peanut, positive watermelon; 12/2005 peanut food challenge=anaphylaxis other DS with pollen, animal, dust allergies

On Jan 18, 2006

My son (3 1/2 years old) had his second skin test for peanuts yesterday. He was diagnosed from the initial test in August 2004. In March 2005 his rast test was negative. His doctor thought he may have outgrown it. He cried and screamed the entire 5 minutes of his test saying it hurt. He was definitely positive, no question about that.

In telling his Dad about it, he said they "stamped my back."

On Jan 18, 2006

Prepare your child that he's going to have to lie perfectly still for 15 minutes. He'll be lying on his stomach. I think most allergists have kids watch a video while they do the test (at least, that's the way they do it at the 2 offices to which I've been). If he moves, the different substances on his back might run into each other. Like others said, there's a slight prick when it first goes in, but it is more like a pinch. There should be only approx. two of those, and it's not a needle like a shot.