Nutr Res Pract.  2013 Apr;7(2):115-121.

Characterization of food allergies in patients with atopic dermatitis

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Hanyang University, 17 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 133-791, Korea.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Seojeong College, Yangju 482-777, Korea.
  • 3Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon 301-721, Korea.


We examined the characteristics of food allergy prevalence and suggested the basis of dietary guidelines for patients with food allergies and atopic dermatitis. A total of 2,417 patients were enrolled in this study. Each subject underwent a skin prick test as well as serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) measurement. A double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge was conducted using milk, eggs, wheat, and soybeans, and an oral food challenge was performed using beef, pork, and chicken. Food allergy prevalence was found among 50.7% in patients with atopic dermatitis. Among patients with food allergies (n = 1,225), the prevalence of non-IgE-mediated food allergies, IgE-mediated food allergies, and mixed allergies was discovered in 94.9%, 2.2%, and 2.9% of the patients, respectively. Food allergy prevalence, according to food item, was as follows: eggs = 21.6%, milk = 20.9%, wheat = 11.8%, soybeans = 11.7%, chicken = 11.7%, pork = 8.9% and beef = 9.2%. The total number of reactions to different food items in each patient was also variable at 45.1%, 30.6%, 15.3%, 5.8%, 2.2%, and 1.0% for 1 to 6 reactions, respectively. The most commonly seen combination in patients with two food allergies was eggs and milk. The clinical severity of the reactions observed in the challenge test, in the order of most to least severe, were wheat, beef, soybeans, milk, pork, eggs, and chicken. The minimum and maximum onset times of food allergy reactions were 0.2-24 hrs for wheat, 0.5-48 hrs for beef, 1.0-24 hrs for soybeans, 0.7-24 hrs for milk, 3.0-24 hrs for pork, 0.01-72 hrs for eggs, and 3.0-72 hrs for chicken. In our study, we examined the characteristics of seven popular foods. It will be necessary, however, to study a broader range of foods for the establishment of a dietary guideline. Our results suggest that it may be helpful to identify food allergies in order to improve symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis.


Food allergy; atopic dermatitis; non-IgE-mediated allergy; IgE-mediated allergy

MeSH Terms

Dermatitis, Atopic
Food Hypersensitivity
Immunoglobulin E
Immunoglobulin E


  • Fig. 1 Diagnostic flow for the food challenge test in patients with atopic dermatitis


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