Peanut Allergy - Skin Test Is Giving False Positives
June 27, 2007 1:01pm CST
That's right. If you or your child was diagnosed as having a peanut allergy - there is an excellent chance the test was WRONG. If you did not have an actual allergic reaction to peanuts before having the skin test - the skin test for peanuts has been found to give NUMEROUS false positives. Researchers took a group of 84 children who tested positive for peanut allergy with a skin test (they developed hives that were 8 mm or larger at the site of the test) and gave them a "food challenge test" (fed them peanuts) in a hospital while they were under constant observation. NONE of them had ANY allergic reaction. Peanut allergy is a serious allergic condition that can cause death for those individuals who actually have it. The problem is that for some currently unknown reason; the skin test (scratch test) is producing a huge number of false positives. This means that children are being subjected to very strict restrictions that are not necessary. If you or your child has tested positive for peanut allergy AND had never had an allergic reaction to peanuts prior to testing; request a peanut challenge in a hospital environment. It is the only way to be sure. This information was just released today by Dr Brynn Wainstein, the head of the study, conducted by the University of New South Wales and the Sydney Children's Hospital.