American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Nov. 12-16

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

The annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology was held virtually this year from Nov. 12 to 16 and attracted participants from around the world, including allergy and immunology specialists as well as other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of asthma, food and medication allergies, immune dysfunction, and sleep apnea.

In a prospective, multicenter cohort study, Dannielle Brown, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues found that nearly one in five school-aged children have ever been bullied due to their food allergy.

The authors evaluated food allergy-related racial differences among Black and White children, 12 years of age or younger at study enrollment, with an allergist-diagnosed immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergy. The researchers observed no significant racial differences in food allergy-related bullying prevalence; however, Black children experienced bullying for reasons other than food allergy twice as frequently as White children. In addition, the majority of parents who knew their child was being bullied and did something to stop the bullying reported that their intervention was helpful.

“Food allergy-related bullying among school-aged children does exist; therefore, increasing both school policy awareness for parents and educational food allergy awareness for parents and other students is important in reducing the incidence of bullying,” Brown said. “Clinicians (whether primary care or allergists) could take a few minutes to screen patients with food allergy for bullying during routine appointments by using open-ended questions about patient experiences to gather information without specifically labeling their experiences as bullying.”

Press Release

In a case report, Yashu Dhamija, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and colleagues identified a patient experiencing contact dermatitis on their face due to the use of a face mask to protect against COVID-19 infection.

Dhamija discussed the case report of a 60-year-old Black man with adult-onset eczema, contact dermatitis, and chronic nasal allergies treated in their clinic after he was seen in the emergency department multiple times for a facial rash. Dhamija and the clinic surmised from all available emergency department information and presentation in the clinic that the patient’s facial rash was likely tied to the use of a face mask. The patient’s condition developed in April 2020, when the patient started wearing a face mask because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dhamija and his clinical team noted that the patient’s facial rash was where the elastic part of the mask touched the face (likely because of a rubber allergy). Based on this information, Dhamija and his clinical team changed the patient’s medication and advised the patient to wear a cotton-based, dye-free mask without elastic.

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