My 8 month old DS has mild to moderate eczema that I believe may be food related, although I have not been able to pinpoint exactly what foods he is sensitive to with just doing an elimination diet. He is breastfed and eats some solids, although I have been pretty careful about introducing him to new things gradually to watch for reactions. For a while I was under the impression that we'd gotten the eczema mostly under control and that it was probably more of a food sensitivity issue than actual allergy.
But now I'm wondering about contact allergies and how they relate to actual food allergies. I tried some baby cereal with DS a couple weeks ago that contained, among other things, wheat. He had eaten a bit of cracker and little bite of wheat bread of different occasions, without any reaction that I can recall. But this time was different...while I was still feeding him, every place on his skin the cereal had touched, he broke out in an itchy rash. I immediately bathed him and put ointment on it, and it went away within an hour. The same thing has also happened with yogurt on a couple of occasions (the first time, I didn't realize it was the yogurt, though.) So, to be on the safe side, I've eliminated dairy and wheat products from my diet (and his, obviously) until I can discuss this with our Ped. The thing is, I didn't notice any other reactions that would indicate a food allergy, as in swelling around the mouth/eyes or mucousy stools, etc.
Can you have a contact allergy to foods without being allergic to eating them? I spoke to a close friend who has lived with nut, fish and egg allergies, and she thought it sounded strange...but she also urged caution since he is just a baby and can't really tell us what else he may be feeling.
I am just at a loss right now because I have done so many rounds of elimination without any conclusive results...I really would like to have him tested for allergies, but I know that can be rather unreliable at his age. I just wish I could know for sure that I am doing what is best for my baby and quit always second guessing everything I put into both our mouths!