Consultants in paediatric allergy, Dr Donald Hodge and Dr Philip Chetcuti, offers skin prick allergy testing for children experiencing allergic reactions at Spire Leeds Hospital.
Skin prick testing is a safe and simple allergy test. Call 0113 218 5967 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
What is skin prick testing?
Skin prick testing is a safe and simple allergy test which can help identify the foods/substances that are causing the allergic reaction. The test is extremely unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction; however oral antihistamine is available if needed.
The procedure is also very useful in identifying causes of asthma and occasionally eczema.
How does it work?
Skin prick tests are usually done on the inside of the arm between the elbow and the wrist. Sometimes the upper back may be used in small children. Droplets of the allergans (the substances suspected of causing the reaction) are placed on the skin. A small metal stick (similar to a toothpick) is then used to gently press against the skin through the drop. This tends to feel like a small scratch but is not usually painful and does not go deep enough to draw blood. Many children describe it like being poked with a sharp pencil.
Itching on the arm is common, but usually stops after 20-30 minutes.
Two control samples are always included to make sure that the test has worked. One of the controls (positive) will cause a reaction in all people, and the other (negative) should not cause a reaction.
After the test has been completed, the solutions are wiped from the skin. There is then a 10-15 minute wait before the results can be read. If the test is positive, a white itchy spot or wheal (like a nettle sting) will appear.
The size of the wheal is measured with a special ruler and recorded and the results are interpreted by Dr Hodge or Dr Chetcuti.
After the skin prick test, the consultant will give you advice and information based on your child’s test results.