How Young Is Too Young For Allergy Testing?

If your infant or toddler has long struggled with symptoms like irritability, reflux, skin rashes, trouble breathing, or stomach upset, you may wonder whether something in their environment is causing these issues. Allergies can arise at any age, unfortunately, and although infants enjoy some immune protection through their mother, this often isn't enough to combat allergies. When should you have your infant or toddler tested for allergies, and what should you expect from the process? 

How Young Is Too Young?

Allergy testing can be unpleasant and sometimes invasive, so allergists generally don't advise major allergy testing for infants unless they're experiencing severe symptoms. But if allergy testing is warranted, it can be performed on any infant older than six months. Furthermore, there is evidence supporting the theory that the earlier you intervene and treat allergies, the less severe they'll become later in life. 

What Should You Expect?

Before you attend your child's allergy testing appointment, it's a good idea to keep a log of their food, drink, and daily activities, along with any symptoms you notice. This can help narrow down potential allergens and find patterns that may help pinpoint a specific allergy.

There are essentially two types of skin allergy tests available for infants and toddlers: the skin prick test and the intradermal test. Both these tests involve the use of a needle to put a small amount of a potential allergen under the skin. In the skin prick test, the droplet of allergen is placed on the skin and is then pricked with a needle. This shifts a minuscule amount of the allergen under the skin, where it can cause a mild reaction without putting your child in any danger. 

The intradermal test is often used to check for allergies to insect bites or penicillin. A small amount of the allergen is injected under the skin. After 10 to 15 minutes, the allergist will check the site for any reaction, which can indicate an allergy.

Other allergies might not be able to be detected through skin tests. For example, an allergy to wheat can often be detected only through an elimination diet that slowly adds back gluten to check for any reaction. A blood test can rule out other potential allergies that can't be tested through a skin prick or intradermal test. But because skin tests can identify the vast majority of potential allergens, they're often the first stop in an allergy testing regimen.

Contact a medical facility that offers allergy testing services to learn more.

About Me

A Look at Health and the Medical Field

The medical field is dedicated to helping you maintain your health. However, your health also extends beyond what can be achieved in a doctor's office. To remain in good health, you need to also take good care of yourself on a day-to-day basis. That care has to take both mental and physical health into account, too. Health can mean going to the gym more often, paying attention to what you eat, or taking a walk around the block every day. It can also mean seeking care from a dentist, an optometrist, or a massage therapist. We explore the breadth of health on this website.

Search

Categories

Latest Posts

14 October 2020
Are you thinking of undergoing TMS therapy? As with any medical treatment, it is important to get the facts before proceeding. What you don't want to

14 September 2020
Physical therapy is an essential part of the healing process after a surgical procedure or injury. And, while you will work with an experienced profes

14 August 2020
If you have major depression or bipolar disorder, then you have a wide variety of treatments available to you. One of these involves the administratio