Patterns of care and referral in children with atopic dermatitis and concern for food allergy

Michele M. Thompson, Susan J. Tofte, Eric L. Simpson, Jon M. Hanifin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although many providers believe that up to 30% of atopic dermatitis (AD) is food induced, food challenge studies show that food-induced eczematous reactions are rare. When food allergy is suggested to cause AD, it often leads to allergy testing with a high false-positivity rate, in turn further focusing parents on food allergy. Study subjects were children less than 11 years old with AD and food allergy suspicion. Prior diagnoses, provider, and testing patterns were assessed by questionnaire given to the parents. Thirty-eight patients with AD were enrolled. Most subject's parents suspected food allergy induced AD. Initial skin diagnoses were made by pediatricians (79%) and family practitioners (18%) as eczema. Allergy was suggested by providers as cause for AD in 63% of the present study's patients. Seventy-nine percent had allergy testing. Greater than 90% of parents claimed their children had food allergy and food-induced AD. Sixty-six percent had positive food allergy tests and 37% had definite history of immediate IgE reactions to food. The majority of this population had allergy suggested as causative for eczema by their primary care provider and were subsequently evaluated by allergist and allergy testing. Consensus about the role of food allergy between the different providers of AD in children would result in more effective, efficient, and less costly health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalDermatologic Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Atopic dermatitis/eczema
  • Food allergy
  • Food challenge testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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