Elimination diets as an aid in the diagnosis and treatment of eczema

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      • 1.
        1. Elimination diets have been found of value in the diagnosis of chronic eczema.
      • 2.
        2. As compared with skin tests they present the advantage of: (a) giving direct evidence of the relationship of sensitivity to the patient's symptoms; (b) enabling one to detect sensitivity during the periods when the skin reaction is suppressed; (c) being available to the practitioner when proper reagents for skin testing cannot be obtained.
      • 3.
        3. The chief disadvantages are: (a) the difficulty in interpreting results due to the slow response of eczemas to the elimination of foods and to the interference of other sensitizing factors; (b) the tediousness of the procedure; (c) the difficulty of rigidly excluding the most common food allergens from the diet.
      • 4.
        4. The combined use of elimination diets and skin tests is usually necessary for accurate diagnosis.
      • 5.
        5. Of the 112 patients studied eczema was caused solely by food sensitization in 17 per cent. This sensitivity was determined solely by means of elimination diets in 6 per cent.
      • 6.
        6. Desensitization was apparently accomplished in two cases by the use of the specific peptones of Luithlen and Urbach.
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