French study links oat products, childhood skin disorders

December 4, 2007

Bordeaux, France - French researchers have found that children with skin allergies may be allergic to oat proteins commonly found in skin products, Reuters Health reports.

Bordeaux, France - French researchers have found that children with skin allergies may be allergic to oat proteins commonly found in skin products, Reuters Health reports.

Working with 302 eczema patients at the pediatric dermatology unit of Hopital Pellegrin-Enfants in Bordeaux, researchers found that nearly one-third of the children - ages 4 months to 15 years - had a positive skin reaction to oats. Overall, 32.5 percent of the children were sensitive to oats, according to the study.

Skin patch tests showed oat sensitivity among 14.6 percent, while skin prick tests identified oat sensitivity among 19.2 percent of those tested.

Three-quarters of all the children had been previously treated with oat-containing emollients. Thirty-two percent of the children who used skin products containing oat previously tested positive on the skin patch tests.

The study, which appeared in a recent issue of the medical journal Allergy, says repeated application of oat-containing skin products appears to be associated with oat sensitization. Researchers suggest that oat-containing skin products be avoided in children age 2 and younger.

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