Knowing what your child is allergic to can be an important step in finding the right treatment. Allergy testing can be performed to determine whether your child is allergic to any environmental allergens (indoor allergens such as dust mites, pets or outdoor allergens such as pollen).
We can do skin testing in our office starting around age 5, because that’s when kids are able to tolerate the procedure. It’s actually pretty easy and painless, but it can be intimidating and a little itchy. We don’t puncture the skin, but use a plastic instrument that puts the allergen into the skin with minimal discomfort.
Skin testing helps us in 2 major ways:
- helping to avoid what we find out your child is allergic to (pets, dust mites, seasonal variations), and
- see if immunotherapy might be worth considering for kids with extensive allergies. Allergy shots or drops are prescribed by an allergist, but we can make that referral if it seems like the next right step.
We can do general food allergy testing as well. For more severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), a referral to an allergist is most appropriate. Ask your pediatrician if allergy testing would be a good idea for your child.