Welcome to my blog!

This blog is a journal of our struggles with food allergies and eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs). ("DD" stands for "dear daughter", so whenever you see it in the blog it is referring to my daughter and our personal experience.) My hope is for this blog to be a source of information and support to others who might be trying to investigate, diagnose, treat, or live with, food allergies and EGIDs. Feel free to leave comments with suggestions or requests of what you would like to see on this blog. This is a work in progress. :)

Skin prick testing (SPT)

I wanted to share some photos of a couple SPTs that DD had, in case anyone is curious what the test looks like.

First, here is a good website describing the process. When you get a skin prick test, you look for a wheal (hive) and flare (red blotch surrounding the hive) to determine a positive or negative. Normally you are given one prick containing histamine for a positive control, and a negative control spot containing nothing (saline, perhaps?) If the other test spots are the same size or larger than the histamine control, you have a positive result. The link above also compares the wheal size to the old class scale that some allergists use (4+ being the most severe allergy.)

So here in the pictures, you can see how they mark each area to be "pricked" with a pen. This particular allergist has a tool that can hold 8 needles at once, so they label each group of pricks with a number. Then the allergens are applied to the skin and a needle pricks or scratches the spot (sometimes this is done all in one step) and you sit and wait anwhere from 5-20 minutes. Here, DD has just had the pricks done, and she is already showing some reactions. The upper spots are just red from being poked, but few are actually positive results. The lower ones however, are definitely positive.

On the bottom right corner in this picture you can see the positive(+) and negative(-) control spots. Just above those (if you're curious) is goat's milk, and you can see that it's quite a bit larger than the positive control, so it's a very clear positive (allergic) result, as are the ones on the lower left.

Just to give another example, here is a SPT from a couple years ago. On the right-hand side, we have 3 positive results. The top and bottom one have very large wheals with just slightly larger flares, and the middle has a smaller wheal with a large flare.


Anonymous said...

Is this type of testing really more accurate than the delayed food sensitivity testing?

It seems like there may be the possibility of some sort of reaction that might be psychosomatic. I'm not saying that it's all in the patients head at all, but the mind is a very powerful thing, and if she's gone through this many times, she may possibly be getting a reaction just because of her anticipating one.

I'm probably not articulating myself very well, but just want to throw that out there. Perhaps you could be overdoing it with all the testing...and a rotation diet, and/or more probiotics, more digestive enzymes might help?

Jessica said...

Skin prick testing is for "true" IgE allergies, NOT for food sensitivity testing. Totally different things.

And are you serious about a psychosomatic reaction? This is a 2 year old (at the time) that you see in the picture. She never sees the reactions; she has no idea what is positive or negative. To be honest, I don't think she has any idea what is happening on her back, other than it tickles when they draw the dots.

We HAVE tried a rotation diet. We HAVE tried probiotics. We HAVE tried every supplement and natural/alternative treatments out there. We continue testing because we're trying to find some foods that we might be able to add to her diet without killing her. Over-testing is definitely not our problem.