How are allergen skin tests done in children?

Allergic manifestations in children were widespread throughout the period. They are especially common lately. Skin tests for allergens in children allow you to detect the problem in time and avoid the further development of a severe form of an allergic reaction. Allergic-type samples are special studies, during which it is possible to quickly determine which allergens the child is sensitive to. In addition, such studies can also be called allergy diagnostics .

Indications and contraindications for skin testing

A test for allergens in children is prescribed only when the following indications are present:

  • there is an allergy to any food product;
  • atopic dermatitis develops;
  • varying degrees of severity of bronchial asthma;
  • diseases of an inflammatory nature that relate to the respiratory system;
  • hay fever;
  • an allergic reaction to a variety of medications.

It is worth noting that skin tests can be performed not for all children.

Contraindications to this diagnostic method include the following:

  • if the child is under 3 years old;
  • you cannot carry out tests during the exacerbation period (this can be done only a month after the exacerbation of the allergy has passed);
  • in the presence of an acute infectious disease;
  • in the presence of primary immunodeficiency;
  • if the child has already experienced anaphylactic shock in his life;
  • if you have been taking antihistamines.

Diagnostics of allergies: types and methods

Today, skin tests can be divided into several different types, namely:

  1. Prik tests. As a rule, they are used in order to detect a respiratory form of an allergic reaction in a child;
  2. Scarification . They help in a short time to determine the presence of allergies to various kinds of non-infectious, as well as infectious pathogens.
  3. It is customary to use intradermal tests to determine an infectious allergen.
  4. If there is a suspicion, for example, of contact dermatitis, then you can use a cutaneous test, which is applied as an application or by drip.

Skin tests are more dangerous than a regular blood test for an allergic reaction. This can be explained by the fact that during the test there is direct contact with a dangerous allergen.

The reaction of the body in this case can be very different and the degree of its severity in all children is different. There are cases when the severity was insignificant, and in some cases everything ended in anaphylactic shock.

An allergen test for children should be carried out exclusively by specialists and in medical institutions so that, if necessary, you can quickly eliminate the dangerous reaction of the child’s body to one or another allergen.

How are skin tests done?

First, you need to properly prepare for this type of test. If the child drinks antihistamines, then they should be canceled about a week before the skin tests are performed. If we talk about other rather serious conditions, then there are none.

The direct skin test will depend largely on the type of skin test.

The application test is carried out by applying a small piece of tissue with a small amount of allergen applied to it on the child’s skin. It is necessary to keep the application on the skin for at least two days, and in no case should the fabric itself be wetted a little. If a scarification test was chosen , then drops of a variety of allergens are applied to the child’s skin, and then small scratches are made directly through the drops.

The prick tests are done in the same way. It differs only in that it is not scratches that are done, but injections, the depth of which does not exceed 1mm. If the test is intradermal, then the allergen must be injected under the child’s skin.

In about 20 minutes, the results of the scarification and prick test will be ready . The reaction to a certain allergen will look like a fairly strong redness and even swelling. Then an additional assessment of the result must be carried out in a day and in 48 hours. If the papule has a size of more than 2 mm, then the sample is considered positive.

If we talk about the application test, then it can be evaluated only after two days. If there is a positive reaction to the allergen, the child will experience severe itching, redness and often severe irritation directly at the place where the bandage was applied.

Allergen panels for children

Allergen panels for children allow you to accurately determine what exactly is the cause of the allergic reaction. As numerous practice shows, in order to be able to examine blood for the presence of allergens, it is customary to use panel No. 4 of the pediatric type. It allows you to quickly detect antibodies to the following possible allergens:

  • mites that live in house dust;
  • pollen of different colors, grasses or birch;
  • protein found in milk;
  • the coat of some pets;
  • food products (beef, carrots, nuts, wheat flour, cottage cheese, eggs, and so on).

It takes very little time for the panels to detect antibodies. As a rule, just a week is enough to understand what exactly the child is allergic to. Slightly less time is required when severe enough allergies are observed. It should be noted that antibodies can only be detected in a laboratory.

This type of analysis can be taken only in the morning and always on an empty stomach. A week before the test, you need to stop taking absolutely all medications. If the child received any routine vaccinations, then the test using the panels can be carried out no earlier than three months later.

It should be noted that panels for allergens for children of different ages have quite a few advantages, and the following can be attributed to them:

  • analysis can be carried out for children from six months;
  • there are no contraindications to the use of the pediatric panel;
  • you do not need to prepare for a long time to determine the allergen;
  • In most cases, you do not need to stop taking antihistamines compared to other skin testing methods.

An interesting fact is that in this way it is possible to determine not only the presence of antibodies to the main products, but also to many others. Specialists can quickly draw up a special hypoallergenic diet, which must be followed when a severe form of an allergic reaction is observed.

It is very important to remember that the sooner it is possible to accurately identify the allergen, the faster and more correctly the treatment of this problem will be selected.

It is necessary to carry out skin tests when the child has a pronounced allergic reaction to the allergen. The same must be done when one of the child’s relatives has food or other allergies. In this case, the analysis for food allergens in the child acts as a prophylaxis and allows you to determine the presence of a problem at the initial stages of its development, when there is still no clearly pronounced allergic reaction.

Breastfeeding: allergens

Allergens during breastfeeding have recently manifested themselves more often. Signs of an allergic reaction in this case include the following:

• redness on the skin;

• the skin becomes too dry or very moist;

• the child does not sleep well and is constantly restless;

• there is vomiting, colic, constant bloating of the tummy;

• problems with stool;

• it is difficult for the baby to breathe through the nose.

As soon as you notice such signs of allergies in a child, you must immediately change your diet. It is advisable for a nursing woman not to eat foods that may act as allergens. Remove from the diet all citrus fruits, products containing cocoa or chocolate, coffee, honey, nuts, fish, eggs (only quail is allowed ). It is not advisable to eat mushrooms, drink cow’s milk. Very often, when breastfeeding, a child develops an allergic reaction due to the fact that a woman eats fruits, berries or vegetables of red color, less often orange. Very rarely, an allergy can be caused by eating meat.

As numerous practice shows, it is necessary to exclude all these products only for a certain time. Then you can enter into the diet in a small amount and closely monitor the child’s reaction. If the baby’s allergic reaction has not disappeared over time, then the allergen must be removed from the diet completely. You can try again and look at the reaction of the baby’s body no earlier than a month later.

Allergy to breast milk in infants

Increasingly, you can find cases when an allergy to breast milk develops in infants. It is possible to understand about the presence of a problem due to clearly expressed signs, which include the following:

1. a rash appears on the skin, which may resemble hives, and is accompanied by very severe itching;

2. immediately there are problems in the work of the digestive system, which are characterized by vomiting, problems with emptying, or very frequent regurgitation ;

3. the child begins to sleep very badly, his appetite noticeably disappears.

The cause of an allergy directly to breast milk is the woman’s improper diet, which must be closely monitored so as not to harm the baby. It is worth noting that if a nursing woman eats at least a small amount of an allergen product, then this, at least, will provoke the appearance of diarrhea and a severe rash in the newborn.

There are cases when a woman is sure that milk tea increases lactation. She drinks it in large quantities, which provokes very severe painful colic in the child, rashes on various parts of the body, the feces turn green and stand out in the form of thick foam. Very often, such a reaction in a child appears after protein from cow’s milk enters his body. If a woman does not stop using the allergen, then this will have an extremely negative effect on the health of the child. He begins to lose weight quickly, sometimes lagging behind directly in physical development.

In addition, an allergic reaction to breast milk in a newborn baby can develop even when there is not enough enzyme in his body that can break down glugen . At the same time, my mother eats all kinds of cereals, in which the glugen level is very high. In order to avoid this, in the first few months of breastfeeding, it is better for a nursing woman to eat only those cereals that do not contain glugen – buckwheat, millet, rice or corn.

If various kinds of chemical additives that a woman uses get into breast milk, then this also negatively affects the health of the baby. An allergy to breast milk can be caused by a variety of preservatives, colorants, emulsifiers, or flavor enhancers. Therefore, it is necessary to very meticulously read the compositions of various products and only under the supervision of a doctor choose vitamin complexes, herbal preparations, and so on.

Sometimes an allergy to breast milk can be confused with a lack of lactase . This is a specific disease characterized by an insufficient amount of the lactase enzyme necessary for the complete breakdown of milk sugar (lactose). Thus, mother’s milk is very poorly absorbed and the child does not receive everything that he needs for full growth and development. The disease can be either acquired or congenital. In order to diagnose the problem, it is necessary to conduct a thorough examination, and the child must be under the constant supervision of a specialist.

Is pumpkin allergic to children?

Pumpkin is an allergen for children only in rare cases. Almost all people are sure that this vegetable is incredibly useful for both a small child and an adult. Pumpkin is at the heart of many popular diets, and parents try to introduce it into the child’s diet along with the first vegetables. It is very easy to understand such excitement. Pumpkin is really very useful, because it contains a huge amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, pectin, as well as sugar, which is easily absorbed by the human body. The vegetable contains a large amount of vitamins T and K, which are rarely found in food.

It would seem that there should be no complaints about the pumpkin, and the vegetable itself is just ideal for the first feeding and for daily use in the diet of adults and children. But still, sometimes even such a harmless vegetable can provoke a fairly strong allergic reaction, which is most often found in children.

Pumpkin is usually classified as a hypoallergenic product, and therefore when a child develops an allergy because of it, this may surprise many. Such cases are, of course, very rare. This reaction of the body to pumpkin can only be explained by individual intolerance to the vegetable, which is observed only in a small number of children.

An interesting fact is that pumpkin allergy can occur during sensitization. But in this case, the child can have a reaction of this type to any such product. It is very important to consult a specialist. If pumpkin allergy only occasionally makes itself felt, then perhaps it can be included in the diet in small quantities. If the reaction is severe, then it is better to completely abandon the use of pumpkin.

Symptoms and causes of pumpkin allergy in children

An allergic reaction to pumpkin will not show any different symptoms from a reaction to many other foods. If we talk about how the symptoms look visually, then it can be a fairly small rash, in places with noticeable redness. In rare cases, in addition to this, puffiness of varying degrees appears, which is concentrated in the mouth and throat, sometimes there is a slight itching.

It should not be excluded from the number of symptoms of a runny nose, cough, which can occur when the allergy has just begun to manifest itself. If the child has a delayed type of allergy, then the symptoms may appear after a while or be mild. It can take several days from the moment you eat the pumpkin until an allergic reaction occurs. In this case, detecting the allergen can be difficult.

If we consider the reasons, then from a theoretical point of view, pumpkin can cause allergies because it has a bright color. After all, it is not for nothing that experts do not recommend during the first few months of a baby’s life not to give him products that have a bright color or one that differs from white, green. Orange pumpkin has such a color due to the large amount of carotene in its composition. This substance is among the potent substances that can often provoke allergies, especially if the child has a tendency to it.

In addition, pumpkin contains the unique f225 protein. This is an individual, very strong allergen. In most cases, it is he who provokes the development of an allergic reaction in children who have an individual intolerance to this type of protein.

Pumpkin allergy: diagnosis

There are many different ways to determine if a child is allergic to pumpkin or not. This can be done exclusively in the laboratory. This can be explained by the fact that when the f225 protein enters the child’s blood directly, it begins to change its concentration very quickly. This can be detected in just a few minutes. The second diagnostic option is a skin test. It is used only in that situation if the child is still too young for more serious analyzes.

Do not be afraid to give your child a pumpkin, because he will not necessarily be allergic to this vegetable. It is worth noting that you do not have to carry out numerous skin tests, make the baby’s diet as useful and varied as possible. This will reduce the risk of developing allergies in your child to a minimum. If you still have suspicions of allergies, then it is better to visit a specialist and get tested as a preventive measure. If there is such a problem, then skin tests, regardless of the type of allergen, will detect it as early as possible. Thus, the chances of successful treatment are higher, and the risk of complications from an allergic reaction will be minimal.

event_note September 12, 2020

account_box Winona Tse MD

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