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Review: special diets, including egg and cow’s milk exclusion, a few-foods diet, and an elemental diet, are not effective in unselected cases of atopic eczema

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F Bath-Hextall

Dr F Bath-Hextall, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK;


In unselected cases of atopic eczema, is dietary avoidance effective?


Double-blind placebo controlled trials evaluating any type of food exclusion alone or in combination with other foods in patients with atopic eczema were selected. Studies that were isolated (diagnostic) food challenges were excluded. Outcomes included changes in symptoms of atopic eczema (itching or sleep loss), global changes in composite rating scales, and changes in individual signs of atopic eczema.


Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, 5 other databases (all to March 2006), and reference lists were searched; and authors and pharmaceutical companies were contacted for randomised controlled trials (RCTs). 9 RCTs (n = 421; …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.