Readers of this blog will know that I’m 100 percent focused on eczema, so why this post on Allergy and to tackle Myths! I came across an article ‘Eight Myths from the Food Allergy Clinic’ written by St Thomas Hospital and Kings College Hospital, London, UK and got very interested because I do think these myths are very common! My detective side got the better of me and I did a research and found many more – but I’m just highlighting to you those more applicable for parents with eczema children, so here you go!
MarcieMom Allergy Myth Number 1 – During the skin prick test, if the wheal is larger, it means that the allergen can cause a more severe allergic reaction
In reality: Should the wheal exceeds a certain size (usually 3-4 millimeter), then it can be considered as a positive reaction to the allergen. BUT a larger size wheal does not mean in reality, the child will show a more severe reaction versus another with a smaller wheal.
MarcieMom Allergy Myth Number 2 – Previous allergic reactions predicts the severity of future ones
In reality: As the conditions that were present in a previous allergic reaction would defer from the future one, parents should not assume that a child will react in the same way to the allergen every time. Factors include the amount, state (raw versus cooked), existing health conditions at the time of allergic reaction. Parents should however note that should a child had a previous anaphylactic reaction, the likelihood of the same allergen triggering a severe allergic reaction is more likely.
MarcieMom Allergy Myth Number 3 – A mom should avoid high risk foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding
In reality: No conclusive study on this, and the American Academy of Pediatrics had withdrawn its advice on avoidance of peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk and fish during pregnancy and lactation.
MarcieMom Allergy Myth Number 4 – Children with allergy to eggs cannot be administered with MMR vaccines
In reality: MMR vaccine is safe for children with egg allergy, see below from a previous Dr Q&A Dr Liew: Vaccines are the one of the proven public health measures to reduce mortality from infectious diseases. Vaccines are produced for significant infectious diseases. There is no link between vaccination and allergies. Traces of egg proteins can be found in influenza vaccines and specialised vaccines like yellow fever. Egg allergic patients should discuss the risk benefit ratios of receiving these vaccines. MMR vaccines are safe for egg allergic patients.
MarcieMom Allergy Myth Number 5 – Cooking a food removes the allergy
In reality: Some proteins that trigger an allergic reaction are not destroyed by cooking, see AAAAI’s recommendation on this: Most food allergens can cause reactions even after they are cooked or have undergone digestion in the intestines. There are some exceptions. For example, some allergens (usually fruits and vegetables) cause allergic reactions only if eaten in their raw form.
I actually thought of including a 6th myth, which is children with parents who have allergy are more likely to develop the same allergy to that specific allergen. Generally, children are more likely to have allergies if their parents have, but whether the allergy to a specific food is inherited is still pretty controversial. Found a study that showed male teens were more likely to be sensitized to dog if their fathers are, so this myth may not be a myth after all. Anyone has any thoughts?