BAD releases warning against private allergy tests

01 Sep 2020

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has issued a warning against the use of unvalidated food allergy testing for different skin conditions, following the results of two studies presented at the virtual BAD annual meeting.

The studies suggested that many companies are not using laboratories with the relevant international accreditation for testing and that the type of tests being used often lack scientific evidence, which could lead to inaccurate representations of allergy and intolerance status.

BAD explains that this can affect patients with skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, who are getting allergy tests to understand the triggers of their conditions.

Dr Alice Plant, dermatology specialist registrar and researcher of one of the studies, said, “Poorly informed patients are vulnerable to being misled about their allergy and intolerance status. There is a lack of evidence to suggest that certain foods trigger eczema, and we would encourage people to continue with their topical treatments as prescribed by their doctor rather than eliminating foods from their diet without first discussing this with a medical professional.”

Holly Barber, spokesperson for BAD, said, “It’s concerning to learn that several of the allergy tests available to purchase online may be unreliable. We would encourage anybody who suspects they have an allergy to visit their GP rather than seeking out tests online as allergy testing is available on the NHS.”

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