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Food Avoidance Diets for Systemic, Lip, and Oral Contact Allergy: An American Contact Alternatives Group Article

Scheman, Andrew MD*; Cha, Christina BS; Jacob, Sharon E. MD; Nedorost, Susan MD

doi: 10.1097/DER.0b013e31827658ed
Contact Allergen Alternatives

Background: Patients with systemic, lip, and oral contact allergy will often improve with an elimination diet of related ingredients. Elimination diets for avoidance of many common preservatives, antioxidants, and other food additives have not been published.

Objective: This study aims to create rational elimination diets (including lists of acceptable alternative foods) for several common food ingredients (propylene glycol, sorbic acid/sorbates, aspartame, benzoic acid/benzoates, propionic acid and propionates, gallates, and benzoyl peroxide).

Methods: Data from, a Web site listing ingredient information for more than 75,000 foods, were extracted and sorted into products types, and an elimination diet was created for each of these food-related substances. Easily obtainable alternatives were identified and listed.

Conclusions: Use of food elimination diets may yield improvement in some patients who have not improved with external avoidance of allergens.

Author Information

From the *Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, IL; †University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA; and ‡Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH.

Address reprint requests to Andrew Scheman, MD, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, 1535 Lake Cook Rd, Suite 401, Northbrook, IL 60062. E-mail:

Data were obtained via permission from

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

©2012American Contact Dermatitis Society, All Right Reserved

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