Severe Eczema Linked to Lasting Milk, Egg Allergy in Kids

Mild cases of the skin condition suggest children may outgrow the food reactions, researchers say

SATURDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Children with more severe cases of the skin condition known as eczema are less likely than others to outgrow their milk or egg allergy, the results of a new study suggest.

Unlike peanut or seafood allergies, children often outgrow allergies to egg and milk, according to a team of 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.

The study included more than 500 children, aged 3 months to 15 months, with egg or milk allergy. They were assessed for eczema and categorized as "none-mild" or "moderate-severe." Eczema, also often called atopic dermatitis, usually takes the form of swollen, irritated, itchy skin.

During two years of follow-up, milk allergy was outgrown by 46 percent of children with none-mild eczema at enrollment, compared with 25 percent of those with moderate-severe eczema, the investigators found.

The study also found that 39 percent of children with none-mild eczema outgrew their egg allergy, compared with 21 percent of those with moderate-severe eczema.

The study was scheduled for presentation Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), in San Francisco.

"These findings will help clinicians caring for infants with eczema and milk or egg allergy, and provide more accurate advice to parents about the likely course of their child's milk or egg allergy," study author Dr. Robert A. Wood, chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in an AAAAI news release.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the findings should be viewed as preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about food allergy.

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