A question frequently asked of an allergist is whether a child can outgrow peanut allergy? Peanut allergy affects 1.5-3% of the pediatric population. Only a minority of children will outgrow peanut allergy compared to milk or egg allergy. It is common for an allergy doctor to monitor the skin prick response or peanut specific IgE level periodically, if it does decrease to a certain level, then a food challenge is performed. There is no official level of what the skin prick size or IgE level has to be to perform the food challenge.
In a recent study, 156 one year children were chosen who were allergic to peanut documented by skin prick testing and allergy blood testing, all of these patients were also confirmed by challenge testing to where they given peanut to ingest and it was documented they were peanut allergic. These patients were followed until 4 years of age and checked whether or not they did outgrow peanut allergy. All of them undergone allergy skin prick testing and allergy blood testing.
Conclusion: 22% of children were able to outgrow peanut allergy, by 4 years of age.
The decreased wheal size on the allergy skin test and decreased peanut IgE level were able to predict who was able to outgrow peanut allergy. The predictors of who was able to outgrow their peanut allergy was a wheal size on the allergy skin prick test of less than 8 millimeters and less than 2.1 kU/L on the allergy blood test. Children who had values below that had a much higher chance of outgrowing peanut allergy than those who were above 8 millimeters on the skin test and 2.1 kU/L on the blood test.
This study was unique because it was the first of its kind to help predict if a child can outgrow peanut allergy. If you have a child with peanut allergy it would be helpful to ask your allergy doctor what your child peanut allergy levels are which can help predict whether he/she will outgrow peanut allergy.