Birch Pollen-Related Foods Can Trigger Dermatitis Reactions

Intake may lead to aggravation of symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis, birch pollen allergy
Intake may lead to aggravation of symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis, birch pollen allergy

HealthDay News — In patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and birch pollen allergy, consumption of birch pollen-related foods is associated with allergic reactions and deterioration of AD, according to a study published online April 13 in Allergy.

Anja Wassmann-Otto, PhD, from Hannover Medical School in Germany, and colleagues conducted double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges (DBPCFC) in 182 children and adults with AD and suspected birch pollen-related food allergy.

The researchers found that 65 patients developed allergic reactions (responders) to DBPCFC with birch pollen-related foods (103 DBPCFC). Of those with allergic reactions, 32 patients exhibited significant deterioration of AD. Compared to nonresponders, responders showed significantly higher specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels to birch pollen and apple in addition to a higher prevalence of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Patients with late eczematous response could not be differentiated by specific IgE levels from those with isolated immediate type reactions.

"In a subpopulation of patients with AD and birch pollen sensitization, related foods should be considered as a trigger for an aggravation of eczema," the authors write. "Since sufficient markers for prediction of late eczematous reactions are still lacking, DBPCFC cannot be replaced in diagnosis of birch pollen-related foods in patients with AD."

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