Exclusively breastfed infants can have food allergies.Cow's milk, egg, wheat and peanut allergens have all been detected in human breast milk. Once baby consumes these systemic and inflammatory allergens, infants can get a common skin condition called atopic dermatitis or eczema.
Find out what you should look for in your baby.
If your baby has eczema chances are they have undiagnosed food allergies. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis begin to flare during solid food introduction and baby teeth eruptions.
Eczema is an expression of an altered immune function and skin barrier breakdown. 60% of eczema cases begin in the first year of life. Atopic dermatitis is a red itchy rash that can have thickened dry skin and abrasions from scratching. Atopic dermatitis usually begins on the scalp with 'cradle cap" in infants, on the face or cheeks, behind the ears, back of the neck, in skin folds and on the extensor surfaces of the arms and legs. Eczema can begin anywhere.
Risk factors for Atopic Dermatitis are:
- male gender
- family history of asthma, eczema or allergic rhinitis
- Black or Asian ethnicity (I have seen this in every ethnic group because of altered immune function and gut dysbiosis in both mom and baby)
- older age of mom
- living in urban areas
Back to food allergies and atopic dermatitis
Immediate skin reactions like hives or a full-blown rash can occur in infants who exclusively breastfeed. Delayed-onset reactions that take place lower in the small intestine like eczema, eosinophilic gastroenteropathies, FPIES (food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome) or proctocolitis in the large intestine can be related to food allergies.
I see moms who intuitively know what their allergies or sensitivities are and to make sure we do full IgE and IgG food and environmental allergy panels. This is important to test because there are always a few surprise allergens and we don't waste time trying to remove and re-introduce foods. IgE or immediate hypersensitivity reactions are covered by insurance. Delayed reactions can be covered by insurance. We offer ALCAT and ELISA/ACT testing.