Role of food allergy in childhood atopic dermatitis
Article first published online: 17 JUN 2011
© 2011 The Author. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 48, Issue 12, pages 1058–1064, December 2012
How to Cite
Campbell, D. E. (2012), Role of food allergy in childhood atopic dermatitis. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48: 1058–1064. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02125.x
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JUN 2011
- Accepted for publication 27 February 2011.
- atopic dermatitis;
- elimination diet;
- food allergy
The interplay between atopic dermatitis (AD) and food allergy is complex and subject to significant misconceptions both by the general public and the medical community. Childhood AD is a very prevalent disorder. In its moderate and severe forms, AD is a challenging disorder to manage from the perspective of the child, parent and treating doctor. As AD is one of the disease manifestations of atopy, it is unsurprising that many children with AD also have a coexisting IgE-mediated food allergy. It is a common misconception that food allergy is causal in the setting of AD. However, in a proportion of sufferers, food allergy does play a role in triggering or exacerbating pre-existing AD by immune-mediated mechanisms and potentially by non-immune mechanisms. It is, therefore, important to differentiate causality, co-existent disease and disease modifiers in this context. This paper seeks to clarify the role of food allergy in childhood AD, and to outline a rational framework for the diagnosis and approach to food allergy in the context of the management of a child with problematic AD.