Few studies concerning the importance of wheat allergy affecting the course ofatopic eczema in adolescents and adult patients exist.
Aim: The evaluation if wheat allergy can deteriorate the course of atopic eczema. Follow-up of patients with confirmed food allergy to wheat.
Method: Altogether 179 persons suffering from atopic eczema were included in the study: 51 men and 128 women entered the study with an average age of 26.2 (s.d. 9.5 years) Dermatological and allergological examinations were performed, including skin prick tests, atopy patch tests, and specific serum IgE for wheat, open exposure test and double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge test with wheat flour.
Results: Wheat allergy affecting the coures of atopic eczema was confirmed in eight patients (4.5%) out of 179 patients enrolled in this study by double-blind, placebo controlled food challenge test. The course of atopic eczema showed a positive trend in patients with confirmed food allergy at 3, 6, 9, 12 month follow-up (statistical evaluation with paired t-test) after the elimination of wheat flour.
Conclusion: Wheat allergy may play an important role in the worsening of atopic eczema (acting as a triggering exacerbating factor) only in a minority of adolescents and adult patients (4.5% in our study). The diagnostic methods (skin prick test, specific IgE, atopy patch test, history) cannot be used as separated tests for the determination of food allergy to wheat in patients with atopic eczema.Open exposure tests and double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge should be used for the confirmation of wheat allergy affecting the course of atopic eczema.