Eczema refers to a group of skin rashes. The most common type is atopic dermatitis. The skin can become red and irritated with small fluid filled bumps that may ooze fluid and become itchy.
According to About.com, “10 percent to 20 percent of children will develop eczema worldwide, with about half of those being diagnosed before the age of one”. However, Kidshealth notes that about half of children do outgrow their eczema by the time they reach their teens. About.com goes on to say “about one-third of eczema patients respond to food triggers”. The most common ones are eggs, milk, peanuts, soy and wheat.
A recent study abstract was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, held from March 18 to 22 in San Francisco regarding research into egg and milk allergies in children with eczema.
Researchers from Duke University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, National Jewish Health Center, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the University of Arkansas Medical School monitored over 500 children between the ages of 3 and 15 months for two years.
The children selected either had a convincing history of an egg or milk allergy or tested positive with a positive prick skin test. Children were categorized as having none to mild atopic dermatitis or moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.
At the end of the two years, 46 percent of children with none to mild severity of eczema outgrew their milk allergy but only 25 percent of the moderate to severe children had.
Egg allergies were outgrown by 39 percent of the children with none to mild eczema versus only 21 percent of those with moderate to severe eczema.
All the children with eczema were also evaluated as to whether their eczema improved or resolved by the end of the study. The researchers found that 28 percent of children who had moderate-severe eczema improved to having none or mild symptoms, while 22 percent remained having moderate to severe symptoms. The researchers also concluded that reduction of the atopic dermatitis severity is not associated with a resolution of food allergies. (abstract 126)
According to Robert A. Wood, MD, the study author, previous studies had not provided any clear answers between the relationship of food allergies co-existing with atopic dermatitis. Dr. Wood expressed that these new findings would help clinicians explain to parents the likely course their children with milk or egg allergies might have.
Eczema. KidsHealth from Nemours. Web. 24, Aug. 2011. http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/eczema_atopic_dermatitis.html#
Eczema and Food Allergies. About.com-Food Allergies. Web. 24, Aug. 2011.
Children With More Severe Eczema Less Likely To Outgrow Milk, Egg Allergy. Medical News Today. Web. 24, Aug. 2011.
Severe Eczema Linked to Lasting Milk, Egg Allergy in Kids. University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. Web. 24, Aug. 2011.
J ALLERGY CLIN IMMUNOL FEBRUARY 2011. Abstracts 126 and 228 from the Saturday proceedings of the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Web. 24, Aug. 2011.
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Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles
Reviewed on August 25, 2011
by Maryann Gromisch
Edited by Jody Smith