There is a general thought that allergy testing in infancy is not useful in the diagnosis of allergy. In most situations this is an accurate statement except when the concern is a food allergy. Food allergy in infants typically presents as eczema or urticaria. Skin testing to common food allergens such as milk, soy, egg and wheat can identify infants with any of these food allergies. Even breast fed infants who have a food allergy can be effected by an allergic food ingested by their mother in her breast milk. Identification of a food allergen and removing this food from the infant’s diet can result in a significant improvement of their eczema or hives.
Other food reactions can be present that are not identified by allergy testing but rather are diagnosed clinically. The most common is milk soy protein intolerance. The diagnosis of these food reactions is typically made history of diarrhea or bloody stools which can be evaluated by a pediatric gastroenterologist.