This child has just had skin prick tests, it shows multiple food allergy, causing eczema.
Peanut allergy has become a serious food allergy that is increasingly common. A large proportion of the children who are allergic to cow’s milk or egg are also allergic to peanuts, so it is important to check for peanut allergy in children with eczema, especially if they are being breast fed.
Peanut allergens can get through into breast milk and cause reactions, especially eczema and colic.
Peanut proteins and peptides can easily travel through the breast milk and affect the baby – the telltale sign is bright, red, scaly, rough cheeks that won’t heal. It shows up clinically much like the egg allergy.
Should children with allergies avoid peanuts in the first years of life? This question is still being debated. My approach is this: children with strong family history of allergy, especially if they have eczema, should be skin tested for peanut allergy early on to detect any sensitivity/ allergy (before giving them peanut. All other children should be started with small amounts of peanut by 6 months (only a tiny amount to start with!) – the hope is to create tolerance. Best whilst breastfeeding. Mum should also be eating peanuts – so that the peanut allergen can come through the breastmilk and cause tolerance. But if eczema starts, then back off and get skin tests.
Skin prick tests are an excellent way of detecting a peanut allergy. EAST/RAST tests will also detect a peanut allergy.
Soy allergy is common.
Soy is in a lot of foods and can be hard to completely avoid.
About a half of the children with a cow’s milk allergy will also be allergic to soy.
I recommend that children are not fed soy until after they are one year old. I am not an advocate for soy-based infant formula.
Soy is a very useful protein, but should be reserved for older children.