Peanut allergies may be treated with a skin patch that delivers small amounts of peanut protein. So far the new treatment approach looks promising and is showing potential as an effective means of combating peanut allergies.
The researchers worked with 74 children and young adults with peanut allergies. The participants wore either a high-dose patch, low-dose patch, or placebo patch.
The participants applied a new patch on daily, which was placed either on the arm or between their shoulder blades.
At the one-year mark, the participants were assessed for their ability to consume 10 times more peanut protein, compared to the start of the study.
Forty-six percent of the low-dose participants and 48 percent of the high-dose group were able to consume more peanut protein, compared to only 12 percent in the placebo group. Children aged four to 11 showed the greatest response to the patch, and the least effects were seen in those aged 12 and over.
Although the effects of the patch may seem modest, the researchers suggest that effectiveness could increase with longer wear and if the patch is introducing at a younger age.
Although the oral therapy usually is more effective than the patch, it is also associated with greater side effects, so the patch may be a safer alternative.
Additional studies are required in order to test the patch effectiveness on larger population groups before it can be deemed a viable treatment option for peanut allergies.