Experience with an elimination diet in children with atopic dermatitis

Authors

  • P. P. VAN ASPEREN,

    1. Departments of Immunology, Dermatology and Dietetics, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia
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  • M. LEWIS,

    1. Departments of Immunology, Dermatology and Dietetics, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia
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  • M. ROGERS,

    1. Departments of Immunology, Dermatology and Dietetics, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia
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  • A. S. KEMP,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Immunology, Dermatology and Dietetics, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia
      Dr A.S. Kemp, Department of immunology, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 34, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia
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  • S. THOMPSON

    1. Departments of Immunology, Dermatology and Dietetics, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia
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Dr A.S. Kemp, Department of immunology, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 34, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia

Summary

In order to define possible food-provoking factors, we placed twenty-nine children with chronic atopic dermatitis on an elimination diet. The children remained on their normal diet for 2 weeks followed by 2 weeks on the elimination diet. Foods were then re-introduced at the rate of a new one every 2 days in an attempt to identify foods exacerbating eczema. Thirteen children (45%) completed the elimination diet and seven of these were improved on parental assessment of sleeplessness, itchiness and area of eczema. Five were improved on the dermatologist's assessment. Only two children were able to identify foods provoking their eczema. Sixteen children (55%) failed to complete the elimination diet. Eight felt it was too strict, while eight did not return for follow-up. From our experience, dietary manipulation in older children with chronic atopic dermatitis offers only limited long-term therapeutic gains.

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