Allergy Testing

Allergy season is literally in full bloom with flowers, trees and grasses all contributing to the sneezing, itchy eyes, runny noses and coughs which are seen in allergic children. If your child continues to suffer from allergies despite medical therapy with daily antihistamines and nasal steroids, your pediatrician may recommend a visit to a pediatric allergist. 

A pediatric allergist can help determine what is triggering a child's allergies. After taking a good history of suspected allergic triggers, the allergist may recommend a prick skin test to help confirm a child's allergies.

The prick test can be used at almost any age and is really quite easy and not painful. During skin testing a small amount of the allergen (tree, grass, dust, dog or cat dander) is placed on different areas of the back and then after waiting about 15 minutes the doctor can look for a local reaction which confirms sensitivity to the allergen.

By watching the local skin reaction to the allergen and measuring the reaction the allergist can identify a child's specific allergic triggers. For the very allergic child, this may be the best way to plan an approach to further control your child's allergies.

Once the skin testing results are in, your pediatrician and allergist may decide your child would benefit from allergy shots.   Unfortunately, allergy shots do not work immediately and may require several years to see results.

Knowing what your child is allergic to will help you avoid allergy triggers as well as help with managing a child's allergy medications. 

There are a lot of allergens out there. The skin test is the quickest way to accurately find out what your child is allergic to.  I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.

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