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March 1972

Diet and Heredity in Infantile Atopic Dermatitis

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Department of Dermatology, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, and the Allergy and Immunology Clinic, Children's Hospital of San Francisco.

Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(3):400-404. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620060042007

Ninety-two infants with an allergic parent or parents were skin tested for allergy to common foods and inhalants at birth and every four months thereafter for a period of two years. Each infant's sex, feeding habits (bottle or breast), and parental history were compared with the onset of skin test reactivity and atopic dermatitis, and rated as to antigenic reactivity. This data indicated that 51 infants developed atopic dermatitis, although only half had positive skin test reactions. All ten test antigens to foods and inhalants had produced a positive reaction in infants 2 months of age and under. Evidence is presented that atopic dermatitis due to the ingestion of foods may be produced by nonreaginic mechanisms. This study indicates that identification of an atopic state in some infants may be made in the early months of life.