Peanut allergy is unfortunately a potentially life-threatening allergy and for most children a lifelong problem that is usually not outgrown.
Family history, prenatal maternal consumption of peanuts and early exposure to peanut allergen either by ingestion or skin application of peanut oil have been suggested as possible etiological factors for peanut sensitization among children.
In western country like United States and the United Kingdom, peanut allergy is a growing health problem affecting nearly 1 in 70 individuals.
Peanut allergy generally develops at an early age and unlike many other food allergies in children is often a life-long disorder.
Reactions vary from mild urticaria to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock arise in approximately 6% of allergic reactions to peanuts. The onset of fatal and near-fatal anaphylaxis can be very rapid. The first reaction may appear within 5-30 minutes of contact with the allergen.
More frequent clinical effects include atopic dermatitis or eczema (40%), angioedema (37%), and asthma (14%); digestive symptoms occur more rarely (1.5%).
Peanut avoidance is difficult and dietetic support is essential. Food contaminations in food production i.e. nuts are not ingredient but there may be traces because of cross-contamination from other food production line, is common.