Getting the diagnosis right for your child

Accurate & convenient testing

21st century diagnostics can be built around your life, your home and other routines.

Whether you would prefer to discuss any concerns face-to-face, over zoom or even by phone, testing and treatment can be arranged to best suit your child’s circumstances. 

Listening to your child's concerns

The first part of diagnosis relies on talking through your concerns. 
Studies are increasingly showing that the early development of eczema, and especially infected eczema, predicts the risk of developing allergies later in life.
Dr Tom will review skin management, as well as dietary concerns and the respiratory system prior to considering the best approach to tailoring testing.

Skin prick testing in clinic

Face to face consultations allow diagnostic skin testing with allergen extracts and even ingredients brought from home.

Results are available within 15 minutes and appear before your eyes.

Specialist blood sensitisation testing

Children who have needed antihistamines within the days before testing may receive accurate blood testing. These can offer highly accurate component testing, and even discriminate different sensitisation profiles which may be masked on skin testing.

Top Tips for Skin Prick Testing

If available, control any eczema patches with topical medical creams and ointments.

Cetirizine ‘Piriteze’, levocetirizine, loratidine, desloratadine and fexofenadine should be avoided for 5 days before. Piriton (also called Allerief or chlorphenamine) should be avoided for at least 48 hours before skin testing, otherwise hives may not arise when there is still a risk of allergen reaction.

Please continue topical steroids for eczema, nasal sprays, inhalers and immunotherapy prior to skin testing; these do not need to be stopped before the skin prick test appointment.

We stock cow’s milk, soya, egg, wheat, peanut, tree nuts (hazelnut, almond, cashew, pistachio, walnut, pecan, brazil nut, macadamia), pinenut, coconut, sesame seed, sunflower seed, mustard seed, cod fish, salmon, tuna, king prawn, kiwi, green pea, chickpea, red lentil, white bean, corn maize flour, chicken and tomato food extracts.

Skin prick testing also allows testing to any other food of concern that you have at home. Please bring up to 3 dice-sized cubes of food allergen. This is particularly relevant for pollen-allergic patients who are getting itching with fresh stoned fruits, apples, cooked vegetables or other more unusual foods. 

Skin prick testing is normally undertaken on the forearms. If emollients have been applied that morning, the extracts are more likely to run together and escape onto the floor.

Making Skin Testing Easy For Your Child

Talking It Through

Most children only need support to stay relatively still for a few moments. After a 10 minute cuddle, the results are in! To show a young child the process, you may wish to use a pen lid, tip ‘down’, to dab onto a parent’s arm to imitate how the allergen bubbles are ‘popped’. Children are usually distractable, so bring some bubble-blowing mixture if you wish to engage them in something fun.

Stage One

Clean hands, hygiene and marking the skin with pen

Stage Two

Using droppers to leave tiny bubbles of allergen solution on the skin.

Stage Three

'Bubbles' are popped with 1mm lancet in 5 minutes

Stage Four

After 10 minutes, the allergy bumps are gently measured with a ruler