Background: Food allergies are common, affecting 1 in 13 school children in the United States and their prevalence is increasing. Many misconceptions exist with regards to food allergy prevention, diagnosis and management. Objective: The main objective of this review is to address misconceptions with regards to food allergies and discuss the optimal, evidence-based approach for patients who carry this diagnosis. Observations: Common misconceptions in terms of food allergy prevention include beliefs that breastfeeding and delayed introduction of allergenic foods prevent the development of food allergies. In terms of diagnosis, statements such as ‘larger skin prick tests or/and higher levels of food-specific IgE can predict the severity of food-induced allergic reactions’, or ‘Tryptase is always elevated in food-induced anaphylaxis’ are inaccurate. Additionally, egg allergy is not a contraindication for receiving the influenza vaccine, food-allergy related fatalities are rare and peanut oral immunotherapy, despite reported benefits, is not a cure for food allergies. Finally, not all infants with eczema will develop food allergies and epinephrine auto-injectors may unfortunately be both unavailable and underused in food-triggered anaphylaxis. Conclusions and relevance: Healthcare professionals must be familiar with recent evidence in the food allergy field and avoid common misunderstandings that may negatively affect prevention, diagnosis and management of this chronic disease.
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