Three Things A Parent Should Know About Patch Testing For Allergies

Posted on: 4 September 2019

If your doctor suspects your child has one or more allergies, he or she may recommend patch testing in order to determine if any allergies exist. Or perhaps you suspect that your child may have an allergy and want to visit an allergist to have him or her tested. Whatever the case may be, there are a few things you should about allergy testing.

The reason it is called patch testing

If you have never heard the phrase before, you may think that the word patch refers to a patch that is placed on the skin, but this is not true. It simply refers to a patch of skin that is used to test for an allergic reaction. A small amount of the suspected allergen is smeared on a small area of the skin. The skin is then pricked and the interaction between the blood and the suspected allergen is observed. If an allergy is present, there will often be a swelling or redness that develops, but this will be limited to a small area of the skin and not the whole body, as some allergies can produce.

You should write down your observations

It will help an allergist to narrow down the possibilities of your child's allergies. If you can spend some time thinking about when and where your child has an allergic reaction, this will be helpful. There may be specific times and places this occurs. It may be outdoors or indoors, but if this is true, you need to try and focus on where outside or inside. You may even have a few suspicions about what it might be, but you need to explain why you believe this to be true. An allergist may be able to affirm your suspicion or explain it away based upon his or her experience.

It is best to see an allergist

If your general practitioner wants to perform testing for allergies, you may want to ask for a referral to see an allergist. This is because an allergist is a specialist and has more experience with techniques in testing, as well as evaluating the test results. They are likely to pinpoint the specific allergy more quickly than a general practitioner. In addition, they are more alert to medications that will interfere with test results, and they are less prone to an over diagnosis that can lead to expensive medications and changes in lifestyle.

There may be certain things you will need to do to prepare your child for an allergen test. When you make your appointment, you will need to ask, but most of the preparation will relate to all medication that your child is taking, both prescription and over-the-counter. This includes any inhalers that your child may use. For more information, reach out to companies like Allergy Asthma Specialists.