Kids who develop the skin condition exzema young in life may also be at higher risk for food allergies and other allergic conditions. According to research presented at the 2011 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Meeting, “children with excema are more likely to develop food allergy than those without eczema.”
The study’s principal researcher Katie Allen, an allergist at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at the Royal Children’s Hospital, led a study involving 2,464 infants under a year old. The HealthNuts study involved skin-prick allergy testing for peanut, sesame and egg sensitivities. The researchers also assessed infant and family exposure to these allergens.
The researchers found that 299 of the infants had both eczema and food allergies, while 377 had eczema with no food allergies. Those with both conditions experienced an earlier age of onset and were more likely to currently be experiencing an episode of atopic dermatitis than those with no food sensitivities.
The study’s lead author, Pamela Martin, said that genetic factors may be involved. “Our findings indicate that those children with onset of eczema in the first 3 months of life should be reviewed by allergists and be considered for skin-prick testing or testing for other food allergy,” Martin said.
Identifying children with food allergies and eczema earlier may enable allergists and pediatricians to treat their conditions more effectively, although the methods for treating such conditions are still being developed. “Within the next year or two, we should have data to inform parents about modifiable factors that may potentially prevent food allergy,” Allen said.
Read more about this study: http://www.pediatricsupersite.com/view.aspx?rid=81856