My child has a Skin Prick Test to check for allergies

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Hi Sophie, I’m Kirsty, thanks for coming today to show us what happens when we have a Skin Prick Test. Why would anyone need this test? Doctors and nurses can ask for this test if people have asthma or eczema or problems with their ears or their nose or they have problems with food. And it can help the doctors or nurses to see if they’ve got an allergy. What things can you be allergic to? So children can be allergic to lots of things, they can be allergic to foods, like milk and eggs or nuts or fish or they can be allergic to pollen like grass and tree or they can also be allergic to animals. The appointment letter asked that antihistamine tablets weren’t taking for up to five days before the appointment. Why is this? So for this test we need to use two controls, one of them is histamine and if you’ve taken any antihistamine, it can stop that histamine response from coming up and it can stop us from reading the test properly. The other one is just a bit of saline, that just tells us people don’t react to the test itself. So if that’s all ok, we can get started. So I’m going to put this
pillow on your knee to start off with. Pop it up there. First, I’m going to draw a grid, across like that. Here we go. I’m going to put my gloves on now and then I can put the drops on your arm. Ok. So today I’m going to put four drops on, but sometimes I only need to put three, and sometimes I need to put as many as fifteen onto the arm and it really just depends, what the doctor or the nurse has asked us to test for. Ok. So it might feel a bit cold as it goes onto your skin. So a wee drop on and then just one more. Last one, okay. Now what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to do a small prick through each of the dots. Will that hurt? Well it might feel a bit uncomfortable, but I’m only going to go through the top layer and it’s just a wee bit like when you pinch your skin. Okay. That didn’t hurt. That’s good. Just like that. Is that okay? Yeah. Good, that’s this test done so I’m just going to blot all these drops away. And then patients that come for this test would normally need to wait for 10 minutes in the waiting room, just while we wait for
things to come up. What would an allergic reaction look like? What we’re looking for is a wheal and a flare reaction, so the wheal just looks a wee bit like a nettle sting, the flare is just the redness that comes up around it. It’s a wee bit itchy but it’s not too bad. Do you have any more questions? No, thank you for showing me the Skin Prick Test.

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