On April 16th we returned to California for Jenna’s launch visit. The first step of the launch visit was placing a food allergy patch on her back for 24 hours, followed by food challenges and dosing. On this blog, I will specifically be covering the patch test as I had several concerns and questions going into this one!
SoCal Food Allergy Patch Test
After the first onboarding visit, I was very nervous going into Jenna’s patch placement. She did not take too kindly to the skin prick test on her back the first go-around so I expected lots of tears. However, she rocked it!
Many parents had warned me of the itchiness and tears during food allergy patch placement so prior to our trip, I had discussed the process with Jenna’s play therapist. She suggested we play the entire scenario out prior to our trip. As you can see below, we placed “patches” on the babydoll’s back. At first sight, Jenna would not even touch the doll or the patch. She was scared and angry. However, after about 24 hours of having the patch on the doll, she decided to take care of the baby. She comforted the baby and continued to give the baby ‘Benadryl’ the remainder of the night. The next morning, she and her sister pretended to take the doll to the doctor for removal.
My initial instinct was to avoid talking about the painful parts so she would not continue to get worked up about the patch. However, I am SO glad I decided to follow the play therapist’s suggestions. By the time we arrived at our appointment, Jenna was flexible and relaxed. It was certainly the best decision we made prior to the trip.
The patch appointment was very quick. The nurse explained the entire process step by step to Jenna in terms she could understand. As you can see by the picture below, Jenna was very chatty and comfortable with our nurse. The entire appointment took about 15 minutes.
The nurse explained we could administer Benadryl throughout the night to minimize her discomfort. Some parents give it as needed but I kept Jenna on a 4-hour dosing schedule. Seeing as how she was a bit traumatized by the skin prick test at our first appointment, I was not willing to risk more discomfort. This was the most Benadryl she’s had in her lifetime. Not going to lie…my husband and I were laughing pretty hard as she was acting a bit intoxicated. She was signing ‘Remember Me’, from the Disney movie Coco and telling us through laughing about a funny incident of a girl burping on accident in her pre-k class. Then she promptly passed out. She woke up right before she was due for more meds explaining that her back was very itchy.
The patch removal went much better than I expected. A specific nurse came in and removed the patch. This really makes sense because what kid is going to want to be hanging out with the nurse that ripped off a massive bandaid on their back!? The nurse that removed the patch went very slow and steady. Jenna did whimper twice but quickly recovered. After observing the patch test sites on her back, the nurse wiped down her back and applied hydrocortisone cream.
Some children have long-lasting red welts or scars on their backs for some time after the patch test. As you can see below, Jenna had one from the mustard seed (which I am told is very common). We actually now call it her ‘button’. if we press the button…she goes into hyper-speed. She really did not mind it and it is fading slowly but surely. Please note: Do you see the additional bumps around her back? That would be because mama did not read the instructions correctly after placement and let Jenna swim after her patch removal. Therefore, the chlorine of the pool attacked the leftover adhesive on her back and left that lovely rash. Oops.
Do you have any patch tips or concerns? Comment below and let’s chat about it!
Read more about SoCal Food Allergy Institute’s Launch Visits here.
Please remember: I am not a medical professional. Do not attempt any allergy testing or treatment without a medical professional. If you have any questions regarding food allergies, please contact your child’s doctor.