A new study has found that children who form eczema after ingesting certain foods may be at higher risk of developing life-threatening food allergies later. Previous studies had linked infant eczema to increased rates of food allergy, but not with food-allergy-related eczema. “Our findings suggest that families of children diagnosed with food-triggered atopic dermatitis should be prepared to respond to a full-blown food allergy reaction if the child is accidentally exposed to the food in question,” says Anne Marie Singh, MD, senior author of the study.
The study followed 298 patients with food-triggered eczema. Of those, 19 percent, who had no history of immune reactions, developed a food allergy after being exposed to allergen-containing foods. A third of those resulted in anaphylaxis.
“Given that in our study strict elimination diets as management for atopic dermatitis clearly increased the risk of immediate reactions, more research is needed to see if children may benefit from keeping tolerable amounts of the food allergen in their diet,” says Singh.
More study is suggested in order to learn whether exposing children with eczema to allergenic foods could reduce their chances of having immediate reactions to food.