Patterns of food and aeroallergen sensitisation in childhood eczema

Author(s): Hon KLE, Leung TF, Ching G

Abstract

Aim:To compare the patterns of Type 1 sensitization of common food and aeroallergens among infants and older patients with atopic dermatitis (AD).

Methods:All skin prick tests (SPTs) performed over a 6-month period were examined, and patients with urticaria were used for comparison.

Results:Dust mite was the most common aeroallergen and dog dander the least common. Egg white was the most common food allergen and beef the least common. Dust mite and peanut sensitization was more prevalent in AD than in urticaria. Dust mite sensitization was more prevalent in older children than infants with AD. Cow's milk sensitization only occurred in one-tenth of these patients. Prevalence of sensitization to common aeroallergens, but not food allergens, was generally higher in children beyond 5 years of age.

Conclusion:Milk sensitization is far less prevalent than egg white, and the prevalence does not change beyond infancy. There is no significant change in prevalence in many of the common food allergens beyond infancy. Many infants with AD develop eczema before they show atopy to the common food and aeroallergens. The SPT information is useful in reassuring parents of the unlikelihood of severe Type 1 immediate IgE reaction to some of the common food and aeroallergens, so that empirical and multiple food avoidance/restriction can be avoided.

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