UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Limiting use of infant wipes that leave soap on the skin and rinsing off soap residue with water could be one strategy that helps reduce food allergies, reveal scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US. The cause of childhood food allergy has long been a mystery, but the scientists are linking it to a combination of genes that predispose us to sensitive skin and certain environmental factors. We can’t control our genes, but the researchers believe that limiting use of wipes and reducing a child’s skin exposure to food allergens by washing our hands before physical contact could help prevent the development of food allergies as children grow. “It’s a major advance in our understanding of how food allergy starts early in life,” says Professor Joan Cook-Mills.