Atopic dermatitis and food hypersensitivity reactions

J Pediatr. 1998 Jan;132(1):132-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(98)70498-6.


Objective: To determine the role of food hypersensitivity in atopic dermatitis and to determine whether patients with atopic dermatitis who had food hypersensitivity could be identified by screening prick skin tests using a limited number of food allergens.

Study design: Patients with atopic dermatitis attending the Arkansas Children's Hospital Pediatric Allergy Clinic underwent allergy prick skin testing to a battery of food antigens. Patients with positive prick skin tests underwent double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges.

Results: One-hundred sixty-five patients were enrolled and completed the study. Patients ranged in age from 4 months to 21.9 years (mean 48.9 months). Ninety-eight (60%) patients had at least one positive prick skin test. A total of 266 double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges were performed. Sixty-four patients (38.7% of total) were interpreted as having a positive challenge. Seven foods (milk, egg, peanut, soy, wheat, cod/catfish, cashew) accounted for 89% of the positive challenges. By use of screening prick skin tests for these seven foods we could identify 99% of the food allergic patients correctly.

Conclusions: This study confirms that most children with atopic dermatitis have food allergy that can be diagnosed by a prick skin test for the seven foods.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Food
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Skin Tests*


  • Allergens