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Allergy. 2007 Nov;62(11):1251-6.

Oat sensitization in children with atopic dermatitis: prevalence, risks and associated factors.

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  • 1Pediatric Dermatology Unit, Hôpital Pellegrin-Enfants, Bordeaux, France.



Topical treatments of atopic dermatitis (AD) may be responsible for cutaneous allergies. Percutaneous sensitization to oat used in emollients/moisturizers has already been reported. Our objectives were to measure the prevalence of oat sensitization in AD children, to assess its relevance, and to look at related parameters.


We recruited prospectively children with AD referred for allergy testing between June 2001 and December 2004. Atopy patch tests (APT) and skin prick tests (SPT) to oat proteins (1%, 3% and 5%) and to the European standard series were performed followed by oral food challenge (OFC) and repeated open application test (ROAT) in the oat-sensitized group.


About 302 children were enrolled. Oat APT and SPT were positive in 14.6% and 19.2% of cases, respectively. Children under 2 years of age were more likely to have positive APT. In oat-sensitized children, OFC and ROAT were positive in 15.6% (five of 32) and 28% (seven of 25) of cases, respectively. Thirty-two percentage of oat cream users had oat-positive atopy patch test (APT) vs 0% in the nonusers group.


Oat sensitization in AD children seen for allergy testing is higher than expected. It may be the result of repeated applications of cosmetics with oats on a predisposed impaired epidermal barrier. We suggest avoiding topical-containing oat proteins in infants with AD.

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