Some Things to Remember Before Coming to Testing
Did I stop the right medications for the right amount of time? (see medication antihistamine)
Do I have the EMLA cream prescription? Do I know where I need to apply it for my testing? Get Answers To These Questions!
Tests are done in two manners. The first is scratch testing. Our office uses EMLA cream, which significantly reduces the pain involved in the test. The pressure used is light and the testing tip just barely scratches the skin surface. Because the scratch testing is done on the back, patients need to lie down on their stomachs during the testing. Feel free to bring things from home to distract younger children who are coming in to have this testing done. We do have books in the office, but sometimes their favorite items from home is the best way to distract them (ie books, ipad/ipod, portable dvd player, hand held video game, etc.). For toddlers, a favorite blanket or stuffed animal is great too. These items are great after testing as well as it will distract them from any itching they may experience while the nurse reads the test and applies the anti-itch cream.
The second form of testing is the intradermal testing. This involves a needle with syringe that injects a small amount of the allergen under the very top layer of the skin. This creates a bubble (very similar to a PPD test). The EMLA cream will keep the patient’s skin numbed so this procedure is not painful. For younger children, seeing the needle can be disturbing so keeping them distracted with their favorite thing (as described above) is key.