Skin Prick Testing (SPT)
Wadestown Allergy Clinic tests specifically for the common food and aero allergens.
(the predominant problem areas in New Zealand)
- Silver Birch
- Grasses (Ryegrass, Timothy Grass, 5 Grass Mix)
- English Plantain
- Moulds (Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillimu)
- Cat dander
- Dog dander
- House dust mites (D. farinae, D. pteronyssinus)
- Fresh cow's milk
- Wheat flour
- Egg white
Skin prick testing is performed by dropping a small amount of the allergen on to the skin of your forearm which is then scratched into the skin. The test is not painful. The results of the test are available within 15 minutes. You will experience some itchy which settles very quickly.
If we need to test for allergens that are not included in our either of our SPT panels, we will request a blood test.
If you take anti-histamine medication then please stop this 3 days before your appointment. Also, we ask that you don't apply creams to your forearms for 24 hours prior to the test.
Skin prick testing is not useful for symptoms that are solely gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, bloating or irregular bowel habit) as this generally indicates a functional and not allergic condition, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. Although we are happy to discuss the management of this, keeping a food diary to help identifying the triggers is generally more helpful than skin prick testing. You may wish to consult your GP further or see a dietician. We recommend FoodSavvy (www.foodsavvy.co.nz).
Management of allergies, particularly for hayfever, includes the prescription and administration of immunotherapy. This is the only treatment that is proven to alter the course of the disease and therefore the closest thing to a 'cure' for hayfever. Its use in the management of eczema is more controversial, and it is not available in food allergies.
Immunotherapy can be administered by injection (SCIT) or orally under the tongue (SLIT). SCIT is very well established with SLIT being a newer form of administration.
Immunotherapy requires a significant commitment in time and money. It generally involves monthly injection over the course of 3 years. If the treatment course is discontinued, it needs to be started again from the beginning. It is not cheap but it is tried and tested and potentially life-changing for those with identifiable triggers to their allergic disease. Click on 'Fees' for the costs of this treatment.
Spriometry is a type of breathing test used to assess lung function, particularly in asthma. We generally apply this test when we are diagnosing asthma or assessing the management of asthma. Results from the test are available immediately following the test.