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Old 09-08-2009, 10:59 AM   #1
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Tell me about allergy testing, please! - UPDATE in OP!

Update: Sure enough, dd is allergic to cashews. Now we have to avoid all tree nuts and carry an Epipen Jr. Glad we checked into it when we did even though family was skeptical before the appt. because she had never had a problem with anything before. We had the scratch test done this morning at an allergy specialist.


Last night DD (20 months) had an allergic reaction to cashews (at least we're pretty sure that's what caused it) for the first time even though she's occasionally had cashews before. Long story short, Benaryl knocked it out, but I spoke to her dr last night, too, just to be sure he thought she would be okay without going to the ER. Symptoms were just a slowly spreading rash that started on her face and moved down over the course of about an hour with no other symptons. This was definitely a reaction to something, and she had the cashews an hour or less before it started. Anyway, now she has allergy tests scheduled in a little over a week, but I don't know what to expect. How exactly do they do a test for nut or other food allergies and how long will it take? Thanks in advance for any info!

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Old 09-08-2009, 11:13 AM   #2
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please!

my oldest had to do the needle scratch test on his back . It was painful for me to watch .. and he wasnt to happy about it .. good thing that we found out what he cant handle ... it sucked though all the way around ...
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please!

They do a skin test. It hurts a little bit. If your child screams when they get a shot, they will probably react similarly to this. My DS just watches them give him shots and doesn't even flinch, he's the same way with the allergy testing. So once they put the allergens on your back, you wait 20 minutes to read it. I'd bring things to do--coloring books, cars, books, etc, because 20 minutes of waiting and trying to distract your kid from their very itchy back takes some doing. If you have a severe allergy and it shows up on your back within a few minutes, they will usually rub it right off so it stops reacting. My DS's peanut and tree nut tests were that bad that they took it off after 5 minutes and now won't do skin testing for them--only blood draws.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please!

Ditto PPs. RAST testing is a blood test with a number from 0-6 (6 being the worst), but the skin testing is very reliable and it only takes about 15 minutes to read the result. Bring a portable DVD player or lots of books to amuse her while you're waiting so she's not tempted too much to scratch.

My daughter is also allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. I'm sorry you're going through this but ask LOTS of questions of your doctor!! It sounds like you might need to carry an epi-pen. Hives on the face are not a good symptom.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please!

That's kind of weird. The little boy I care for (just turned 2) had a reaction to peanut butter and his doctor wasn't even concerned since it was just hives and the Benadryl took care of it. She said if it happens a few more times it probably is a true allergy, but we'll just need to keep Benadryl on hand and watch him. Eventually, when he gets bigger they'll test him, but they are hoping he out grows it.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please!

My daughter is allergic to dairy, her reaction is just hives on her face, or wherever it has touched. She went for the skin tests at about 12 months, it was much easier than what i imagined. They used a template to draw circles on her back, i think they tested about 10 things. The they dropped oils onto her back (I think she was sitting up and playing with something) and then used a fine needle to scratch where the oil was. She didn't really even react to it, she got a little irritated but it didn't seem to be painful. I think they do it on their back because there aren't as many pain nerve endings there. She had large reactions to egg white, milk (casein) and cashews, although there is a high rate of false positives so don't freak out if you know your kid can already eat some of the things that test positive. It's more about rulign things out, that's what I discovered. We were happy to see she was definitely negative to peanuts and fish. We already knew she had the milk allergy and I have seen a mild reaction to soft-cooked eggs (scrambled) so we're avoiding eggs too except when they're cooked into things like cake etc where the amount is very small and it's very well cooked so the allergenic proteins are destroyed. The reaction sites do itch, so I recommend buying some calamine lotion to put on afterwards, and washing with cool water. It didn't seem to bother my daughter too much and the nurse was surprised as she had such a huge reaction to some of them. So I guess some kids do get upset by it. It was actually a lot easier than i was expecting, i was prepared for the worst but it wasn't that bad. Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:49 AM   #7
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffer23 View Post
The little boy I care for (just turned 2) had a reaction to peanut butter and his doctor wasn't even concerned since it was just hives and the Benadryl took care of it.


It's amazing how different in attitude various care providers are. Peanut allergies are VERY serious and it seems a little lackadaisical to say "let's just see if it happens again" because the next time it could be a lot more severe.

My daughter had a doctor once (family physician) who chastised me for not giving her the epi-pen every time she had hives. He told me that you don't want to wait for it to escalate because it can get very bad, very quickly. Benadryl can "take care of it" but some children actually have delayed reactions up to 24 hours later. I'd definitely encourage the mother to get a second opinion, if you have that kind of relationship with her.

(sorry to mini-hijack, OP!)
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:24 PM   #8
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please! - UPDATE in OP!

Updated in OP
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:08 PM   #9
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please! - UPDATE in OP!

sorry he has to go thru the testing, but glad you found out the problem
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:39 PM   #10
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Re: Tell me about allergy testing, please! - UPDATE in OP!

Glad you figured it out! I'm sorry to hear that he's allergic, though.
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