Egg Allergy Tests & Symptoms [video]

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Video Transcript
Dr. Peter Saul - Allergy Expert: When we have a patient - typically a child - who's got egg allergy, they usually grow out of it, often by the age of 3 or 4. Because egg can actually be fairly problematic in the type of reactions it can cause - it can cause some nasty reactions - we want to make absolutely sure that the child is safe and not going to react. And what we do is we'll do skin prick tests to look for reactions in the skin, and we'll ask the parents if the child has had any accidental contact and if they've reacted.

If we do a skin prick test and it's turned from positive to being negative, we think the child has probably grown out of it. But what we need to do is in a controlled environment test that child to make sure. We don't always get it right with the skin prick tests or the blood tests, and sometimes that child might actually still be sensitive. So we will either bring them into the ward or we'll do it in outpatients, and we'll do what we call an egg challenge.

That involves asking mommy or daddy - whoever the best cook is - to make some scrambled egg and bring it in. And then what we do is we start off, we put a little bit on their skin, we wait 20 minutes to a half an hour, we'll put some on their lips, on their tongue, get them to swallow a little bit, get them to swallow a bit more. If at any point we get a reaction - so, for example, if the side of the lip starts to swell or if they get tingling in the mouth or their tongue starts to swell - we'll stop, we won't go any further, and we know that they're still sensitive, and we'll get them back after another period - say, typically, another year. But if all goes well and they can tolerate the egg, we say, "Bye-bye." "Go and have some nice sort of quiche or whatever you fancy, egg custard, and be happy." - Copyright 2011.