Skin prick allergy tests are a very useful way of quickly diagnosing allergies including:
Skin prick testing for the most common airborne allergens or for common food allergens can be performed from as little as £150.
Paediatric Diagnostic team has partnered with the Functional Gut Clinic to offer a Hydrogen breath test home kit. Please watch this video which explains more about how to carryout the test.
Skin prick tests are generally very safe in children and are easy to carry out with results that can be read in 15 minutes. The tests aren’t painful and use lancet (a short needle) to barely scratch the surface of the skin. These tests are not usually carried out in children with known severe allergies (anaphylaxis) and will need to be delayed if a child has been given antihistamines in the last 48-72 hours as these can affect the results. Sometimes, particularly if a child has a skin condition, the nurse or doctor might suggest a blood test as an alternative to skin testing.
Our expert nurses can carry out your child’s allergy test while keeping them reassured and helping to relieve any worries or anxiety they may have. Severe reactions to allergy tests are very rare but our nurses are trained to deal with emergencies and have access to appropriate medicines and equipment if needed.
What to expect?
During the test, the skin of the arms or legs is cleaned with an alcohol wipe. The nurse will draw small marks on the skin and will then apply a drop of the allergen (the substance being tested for allergy) next to it. A lancet is used to scratch the skin so the allergen can make contact with the deeper skin layers.
The nurse will also use a positive and negative control to compare the responses to. Histamine is produced naturally by the body in response to allergy and is used as the positive control while saline should not provoke a response and is therefore used as a negative control.
After 15 minutes the nurse will assess for responses and compare these to the controls. If your child is allergic a swelling (wheal) will develop at the site of testing. Itching usually settles quickly but if not a soothing lotion or a mild steroid cream might be given to you to apply to your child’s skin to help settle it down.
Concerned your child may have a food allergy? Worried about your child’s blocked nose?
Not sure if your child has a hearing problem?
Relax! Our expert paediatric consultants and nurses are there to help you.