My Experience With Skin Prick Allergy Testing
Last updated: February 2023
I want to go back in time and apologize to my kids for the times they had to have an allergy skin prick test. Our family of 5 all have allergies year-round, and we just have to tolerate them. One day, our allergy and asthma doctor convinced me that to control my kids' asthma better, I had to manage their allergies. Well, that makes sense.
My kids' history with allergies
We tried over-the-counter allergy medicine and nose spray, but my kids would still sneeze 20-30 times daily. Seriously...I'm not making this up!
We made sure our house was allergy and asthma friendly. That meant removing the carpet, keeping the windows closed to keep the pollen out, and using air conditioning instead of swamp coolers. We had no pets, very little clutter in the house, and did lots of regular cleaning.
My turn for an allergy skin prick test
But the kids were allergic to so many things (indoors and outdoors), so they spent 5-6 years getting allergy shots, beginning with a diagnosis made by a skin prick test.
Well, it was finally my turn to be allergy tested. Like many people, when the allergist would ask me about allergies, I would say, "Meh, I'm fine!"
Apparently, I was not fine. My allergy doctor informed me that it wasn't normal to be blowing my nose so many times a day and using so much allergy nose spray and pills.
So, I wrote most of this article while in the doctor's office getting an allergy skin prick test.
Starting the skin prick test
The nurse started by putting black marks on my back in a line going from my neck to my waistline. She made 4 columns of marks, so I had 50 dots on my back once she was done.
Then she scratched each dot with a serum vial containing an allergen. She continued down the row on my back (and was fast)!
Now that she is done, I have 50 itchy spots on my back. And now, I wait.
After the pricks come the itch
And itch. And itch some more, but I can't move or scratch my back. I would give anything to scratch it! But I can't move for the next 15 minutes, until the nurse comes to check for the skin prick test results by observing the welts forming on my back.
I'm wondering how my kids got through this skin prick test. Years ago, we didn't have smartphones when my kids underwent allergy tests. So we brought their Game Boys to keep them distracted. But I felt so bad for what they had to endure.
I am using my phone now to distract myself from the itchiness, but I have decided to use this time to write about my skin prick test experience so I don't miss anything.
Getting the test results
The nurse came back in just came back in after 15 minutes and told me I had some big welts on my back. "Go big or go home," right?!
I asked her to take a picture of my back to see what it looked like, but I'm not sharing that with y'all!
The allergist came back into the room to share the results. I am allergic to about 10 different allergens. I was informed that the serum for all of these allergens could fit into 1 vial for immunotherapy (allergy shots). This means, when I get allergy shots, I only need 1 shot each time I go for immunotherapy.
Have you had an allergy test?
The itching is gone, so I guess it wasn't that bad. But I still decided to stop on my way home and buy myself a treat for completing the skin prick test.
Who else has had skin prick testing for allergies?
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?