Key clinical point: Treating infants with eczema early and aggressively may curb the development of food allergies.
Major finding: 25% of infants treated by 4 months for atopic dermatitis onset had allergies to egg, milk, wheat, nuts, or fish, compared with 46% of those treated later .
Study details: A retrospective cohort study using records from 142 infants treated at an allergy center for eczema and followed at age 2 years.
Disclosures: The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development supported the study, whose authors declared no conflicts.
Miyaji Y et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.jail.2019.11.036.
The “atopic march” is a term used to describe progression of symptoms of atopy starting with skin disease followed by development of respiratory disease and/or food allergies. It has been hoped that early and vigorous treatment of the skin disease could reduce this progression, and this study showed that it does in this fairly small sample. It is unclear, however, how much impact this will have on individual symptoms, for two reasons. Infants with positive tests for food allergy do not always have clinical findings when consuming the presumed allergenic food and “food allergies” tend to disappear as children age beyond 2 years.— Joseph Fowler, Jr., MD, Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of Louisville, KY