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Dr. Scott Sicherer

How Do You Know if an Allergy is Truly Gone?

By Dr. Scott Sicherer

Q: My 6-year-old daughter’s IgE blood test numbers for peanut allergy have significantly decreased, and the allergist is offering an oral challenge test. My question: as allergic reactions aren’t consistent, if she doesn’t react or has only minor symptoms on the day of the oral challenge, can we be certain this allergy is truly gone? …

Dr. Scott Sicherer

Do Reactions Worsen With Each Exposure?

By Dr. Scott Sicherer

Q: Is it true that food allergies to shrimp or peanuts will get worse with every accidental exposure? I had my first (quite bad) reaction to shrimp at 25 years of age, and this worries me. Dr. Sicherer: No, it is not true. It is a common myth that allergic reactions automatically become worse with …

Dr. Hemant Sharma

Can You Tell if a Food Allergy is Life-Threatening?

By Dr. Hemant Sharma

Q: What I don’t understand is: how does an expert decide whether a food allergy is “life-threatening” or not? This issue comes up frequently, such as when preparing forms for daycare or schools. Dr. Sharma: Your question is a great one because it points out a major limitation of our currently available food allergy tests, …

Dr. Scott Sicherer

Do Hand Sanitizers Protect Allergic Children?

By Dr. Scott Sicherer

Q: My child’s school insists hand sanitizers are adequate for cleaning up children after eating. But to protect allergic children, don’t they need to use soap and water? Dr. Sicherer: Antibacterial gels and foams do not remove debris from hands, they only kill germs. These sanitizers will not remove milk, peanut or even dirt from …

Dr. Scott Sicherer

Are Coconuts Safe with Tree Nut Allergy?

By Dr. Scott Sicherer

Q. I’ve read differing views on whether it would be safe for a nut-allergic person to eat baked goods with coconut or coconut oil. What’s your view on coconut? Dr. Scott Sicherer: Despite its name, coconut is not actually a nut, but a fruit. Regardless, the Food and Drug Administration considers it a tree nut, …

Dr. Scott Sicherer

How can I deal with a child who disobeys food allergy rules?

By Dr. Scott Sicherer

Q. I have a 5-year-old son who is allergic to dairy, egg, banana, peanuts and other tree nuts. At a recent party, I told him that he could not have a certain kind of cracker being served, as it would make him sick. He grabbed it anyway started to eat it. I made him spit …

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