Patch testing essential for allergic children

By Stephen Robinson, 03 January 2012

Patch testing for atopic dermatitis is warranted in children with suspected allergies, according to researchers.

Six allergy test strips to test for allergic reactions (Photograph: SPL)

Six allergy test strips to test for allergic reactions (Photograph: SPL)

The study from the University of California in San Diego confirmed that systematic patch testing is a necessity in children with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, given the high rate of contact allergy among this group.

Researchers studied 101 paediatric patients with suspected allergic contact dermatitis; 53% of whom had atopic dermatitis, the rest non-atopic dermatitis as controls. All participants underwent patch testing.

At least one allergen reaction was noted in 89% of atopic and 66% of non-atopic dermatitis patients.

Researchers concluded that the tests were necessary for atopic patients given the high rate of allergic reaction.

They said testing was necessary in those children whose condition is refractory to treatment, or whose history is suggestive of allergic contact dermatitis.

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