What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

ASK THE EXPERT: WHAT TESTS CAN HELP DETERMINE WHETHER MY CHILD'S ECZEMA IS CAUSED BY ALLERGIES?

     Home  >  Articles  > Kid's Health
by Philip Hemmers, D.O.

Related: testing for eczema caused by allergies, how allergies cause eczema in children, eczema in children, how do you know if it is eczema,


Your child has itchy rashes on his skin. A doctor of the Allergy Center of Connecticut provides an overview of the types and safety of tests you can get on your child to see whether his eczema is caused by allergies.

Approximately one in three children with eczema will have a food allergy. Unlike the symptoms of anaphylaxis (a more severe allergic reaction), eczema symptoms may occur hours or days after ingestion. This makes it difficult for parents to identify specific foods triggers. We must rely on allergy testing. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has recommended that children younger than 5 with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis be evaluated for allergies to milk, egg, peanut, wheat, and soy only if the child has persistent eczema despite adequate treatment or if the immediate reactions have occurred after ingestion of a specific food.

Child at Doctor's OfficeBlood tests are often performed by the pediatrician as part of an initial screen for allergies. These tests measure the level of antibodies directed against specific foods. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to protect us from bacteria and viruses. An overactive immune system will produce the wrong antibodies (known as IgE) against the wrong proteins (harmless and nutritious foods). Blood test results must be interpreted correctly as they often over-diagnose allergy (by as much as 50 percent). The accuracy of this test is affected by age and the severity of disease.

An allergy specialist may perform skin puncture testing. This simple test provides an accurate and fast result in children as young as 6 months. A small amount of food protein is placed under the skin, usually on the back or arms. Within 15 minutes a small welt (or hive) will appear under those foods that the child is allergic to. There is no risk for more severe reaction and the welts will resolve on their own.

When questions persist, a food challenge may be necessary. This is the diagnostic gold standard. Suspect foods are removed from the diet and re-added after a period of observation. Depending on the likelihood of allergy, this challenge may be performed in the physician office. Generally, elimination and challenge requires more work and more patience.

Some final tips:

• Avoid unproven allergy tests. Among many others, this includes kinesiology testing, Namburipad’s Allergy Elimination Test, IgG testing, provocation and neutralization, pulse testing and the ALCAT test.

• Do not remove foods, such as milk, wheat or eggs, without consulting your child’s physician.

Dr. Philip Hemmers, a native of Long Beach, NY, is certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology to care for both children and adults. He practices at the Allergy Center of Connecticut with offices in Bridgebort, CT and Norwalk, CT.

Dr. Hemmers earned a bachelor's in biomedical engineering from Duke University and attended medical school at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed a pediatric internship and residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center and a fellowship training at Long Island College Hospital.

Never lack for an family activity
Receive our weekly highlights newsletter
Over 1,000 local activities

More Kid's Health Articles

Pediatric Dental Office Opens in Greenpoint
How to Recognize Depression in Your Child
Sick Day: A Plan for When Your Child Stays Home From School
4 Tips to Prepare Your Child for Daylight Saving Time
Ask the Expert: When to Keep Your Child Home Sick from School

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Kid's Health Sponsors

Lice Lady of Westchester, The
914-497-5465
Got Lice?? If you do, don?t panic! The Lice Lady a...

Fairy LiceMothers
2463 S. Long Beach Road
Oceanside, NY
866-561-0492
Fairy LiceMothers are dedicated to eliminating the...

KidAbilities
1 Skyline Drive, Suite 298
Hawthorne, NY
914-347-5990
KidAbilites, LLC is a unique private practice loca...

Oh My Girls (OMG)
140 Jericho Turnpike
Syosset, NY
516-802-5800
Oh My Girls! is the first-ever healthy living cent...

Tender Age PT
1227-2 Montauk Hwy
Oakdale, NY
631-218-1545
...
See Our Kid's Health Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE