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My child has a food allergy. Is it possible that they will outgrow it when they get older?

Some individuals with food allergies can outgrow them over time. This depends on the individual and the specific food. The process is known as developing an β€œoral tolerance” to the food allergen.

Approximately 80% of individuals with an allergy to cow milk, egg, wheat, and soy will outgrow it by their teenage years. This usually happens by the age of 16. Approximately 20-25% of children with peanut allergies will outgrow it by late childhood. Allergies to tree nuts are outgrown about 14% of the time. Only 4-5% of individuals with allergies to fish or shellfish will ultimately outgrow these allergies.

An oral food challenge, overseen by a board-certified allergist, is the best way to see if a particular allergy has been outgrown.

Food Allergy
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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