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Eczema, long-term allergies linked

Washington — Children who have more severe atopic dermatitis, or eczema, are less likely to outgrow allergies to milk or eggs, Medical News Today reports.

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and other institutions enrolled more than 500 children, between the ages of 3 months and 15 months, who had either a convincing history of egg or milk allergy with a positive prick skin test to the trigger food and/or moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis and a positive prick skin test to milk or egg.

Eczema severity was scored at baseline and at two years and was analyzed categorically as none-mild or moderate-severe. Milk and egg allergy was based upon clinical history and food-specific IgE with resolution established by successful ingestion of the trigger food.

During two years of observation, 46 percent of children with none-mild eczema at enrollment outgrew their milk allergy, while only 25 percent of the children enrolled with moderate-severe eczema outgrew their allergy. Improved eczema severity was not associated with food allergy resolution. Among those with moderate-severe eczema who improved to none-mild, only 19 percent resolved their food allergy, compared to 32 percent who remained moderate-severe.

As for egg allergy, 39 percent of children with none-mild eczema at enrollment outgrew their egg allergy, compared with 21 percent who were enrolled with moderate-severe eczema. Of those children who had moderate-severe eczema at enrollment who improved to none-mild over two years, 28 percent resolved their allergy compared with 22 percent who remained moderate-severe.

The study authors say their findings will help clinicians to care for infants with eczema and milk or egg allergy and will provide more accurate advice to parents about the likely course of their child’s milk or egg allergy.

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