Latest Skin Testing

I’ve posted about the basics of allergy testing – why you should test, the various tests available, and their limitations. We first tested Bubba via skin prick around 6-months-old. She’s had around six skin prick tests since then, usually to try to determine if a ‘spicy mouth’ reaction to a food was an allergic reaction or just a benign toddler ‘thing’ to a strong flavor or distasteful new food. Other times it was to determine if she was allergic to other similar foods. For example, after Bubba reacted violently to sesame seeds we decide to test for a few other seeds before introducing them to her.

Before. So Chill.

Before. So Chill.

Today we tested Bubba for some of her known allergens, either because they hadn’t been skin tested in years, or because they had only been tested via blood. Also, we tested for a few unlikely outliers for the reasons described above. Allergy testing is a necessary evil. But I can tell you there are better ways to spend an afternoon.

Bubba was a champ. At least compared to me who needed to cry to Hubs about it at the end of the day (whilst drinking a glass of chardonnay). She was tested for 22 foods plus 2 controls. So 24 pricks. On her tiny. Little. Back. She laid on her belly. I had a movie playing on the iPad. I pressed my face into hers and held her arms. I’m not sure I needed to. Bubba laid still. She didn’t thrash. But she did. Scream. Her. Bloody. Heart. Out. I almost wished she had fought. Because her bravery just breaks my heart more.

So I am drinking chardonnay. Because it is very hard to separate yourself as a Mama from your Littles when they are in pain.

Tree nuts upper left, peanut mid-back, milk barely noticeable upper-right.

Tree nuts upper left, peanut mid-back, milk barely noticeable upper-right.

This hurts me to look at.

This hurts me to look at.

While we waited for Bubba’s skin to react she watched her movie, hollered about being SO SCRATCHY I NEED TO TEAR MY SKIN OFF, and I blowed on her skin and murmured at her. Mind you Bubba is fully over it now. I’m pretty sure she was over it by the time we were back in the car and she was eating her chocolate lollipop. But I am still trying to sort through the results. She tested Class IV (the highest) for peanut, cashew, hazelnut, pistachio, walnut, sesame seed, crab, clam, milk, and kiwi. She tested Class II for pecan, shrimp, oyster, scallops, lobster, and pineapple. Negative for celery, fennel, anise, and coriander (paranoid allergy-mom seed-suspicions). I don’t feel like there should be any shockers here, but I was a bit shaken nonetheless. In particular because Bubba has had anaphylactic reactions to milk multiple times and her milk wheal (hive) was barely noticeable next to her tree nut and peanut wheals. Bubba has never been exposed to tree nuts or peanuts. So I guess I came out of testing more scared for the future.

*It is important to note that skin prick testing has a low false negative, but high false positive results. It also provides no predictive ability on the likelihood of anaphylaxis.