A skin patch to cure allergies?

Updated: Jun 23, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

New Delhi: Scientists claim to have achieved a breakthrough by developing a revolutionary skin patch which can cure people of life-threatening allergies.

A French team, which has already successfully tested the new patch against cow`s milk allergies in children, claims that experiments are now going on in the US and Britain to check whether the device could actually prevent reactions to nuts in kids and adults.

In fact, according to the scientists, the allergy patch works by releasing minute doses of the allergen which causes the reaction into the immune system through the skin desensitising the sufferer.

"It`s a completely novel method of treating allergies. It will be a very easy treatment to administer, it is safe and possible to treat both adults and children, who will be able to lead a normal life," a newspaper quoted Dr Pierre- Henri Benhamou, one of its two French inventors, as saying.

In fact, in their successful experiment of the device against cow`s milk allergy, the scientists placed a milk-containing patch on dairy-allergic patients every other day for nearly three months.

The findings revealed that the patients were able to consume, on average, 12 times more milk without a reaction than they could before the treatment. Cow`s milk allergy is the most common in young kids.

The French scientists, who have now formed a company, say that if the clinical trials on a comparable peanut allergy patch are successful, then the device would help desensitise patients allergic to peanuts.

PTI