PPD test reaction --tuberculosis

  1. Hey,

    I had to have a PPD test for tuberculosis for both my job and nursing program. I got it on Wednesday morning and had it read on Friday and it was a little red, but had no raised area or 'papule'. The nurse said redness happens sometimes but it was ok and it was negative. Today I woke up and it appeared a little more so red and had several tiny (like pen point) dots that were slightly raised. Still no papule. Has anything like this ever happened to anyone? Is my reaction just a rash like reaction to the PPD injection? Or does this seem like a positive indication for TB?!? I haven't had one in a while, but I've never tested positive before, and the tests I always got where the Tine tests, ok its been a long while....:selfbonk:

    I plan on calling a doctor but it's the weekend and its not life threatening right now so theres no point rushing somewhere. Any input is greatly appreciated!
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    About Kina21

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 71; Likes: 6
    LTC/TCU Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience


  3. by   ginger58
    A lot of times the reading of the reaction is based on size of induration--I think it's 10 mm. I'm going to look this up and get back to you.
  4. by   elizabells
    I think it has to be 10mm and hard/indurated. We had a lot of people on my unit freaked out this year because their PPDs looked funny - turns out the same person at Occ Health did them, and didn't do them very well.
  5. by   Daytonite
    A positive reaction is a hardened, firm, red area, NOT just a reddened area. The reasons the skin becomes reddened around the injection puncture is due to hematoma or mild bleeding under the skin because of the trauma of the needle stick, or reaction to itching if you have scratched at it. If the skin around the puncture is not hardened, it is not a positive reaction. A positive reaction does not mean that you have TB, only that at some point in time you have been exposed to the bacterium. Further testing is required to determine if you do have active disease.

    Here are weblinks about this test. You will need to become familiar with it. As a nursing employee you will be having it done on a regular basis. If you are a positive reactor you will need to have a chest x-ray done yearly to show you do not have active TB. This is a law in most states in the U.S. That is the alternative to having the skin test.