A promising new study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found a potential way to treat peanut allergies in small children.
The study examined 362 toddlers between the age of 1-3 years old who couldn’t tolerate even a small fraction of a peanut. A skin patch, called Viaskin, was placed between the shoulder blades and worn daily for a year. The patch delivered a small amount of peanut protein which was absorbed into the skin. The toddlers were then re-tested and about two-thirds could safely tolerate approximately three to four peanuts.
About 2% of U.S. children are allergic to peanuts. The immune system overreacts to peanut-containing foods, triggering an inflammatory cascade. In extreme cases, it can be fatal. Up to this point, there has only been one available treatment but no cure. Though some kids outgrow the allergy, up to 80% of cases persist into adulthood. The study is a promising step in creating treatments for food allergies and providing relief to those affected and their families.
Read more (via CBS)