My son is 10 months, and has bad eczema mostly on his face, some on his body.
We see a Naturopath who had us do an ALCAT food intolerance test (uses blood). That found food intolerances which seemed to match up to my diet pretty well. None of the big allergens showed up, so the doctor suggested that we do an IGE test by Quest (also blood test). We had that done, and my son was negative for all environmental triggers except Dog and Cockroach, but positive for most of the food panel (peanut, walnut, milk, soy, wheat, corn, and sesame). These results also correlated with my food diary pretty well. Because there were so many positive results, I wanted to test for more IGE reactions before introducing more solids to him.
The Quest test was several hundred dollars for just 12 foods, so we found an IGE test through USBiotek that does IGG and IGE testing on 96 foods for about $350. We are doing an expanded panel that includes 111 foods. My doctor got an account with USBiotek so that we could order the test, but you can also order it yourself through DirectLabs. We had the blood drawn last week and are now waiting for the results. While waiting for all these tests, I eliminated most of my foods and then started re-introducing them. I got too mixed up a few weeks ago, so we are now back to a total elimination diet. My son is improving, but it's slow. We want to get him to baseline so that we can see reactions more clearly without them being on top of already damaged skin. I feel like he's probably having slight reactions to the elimination diet now that we've been on it too long.
So anyway, in response to your question, I feel that the testing we did has been worth it because we found that environmental issues are probably not the issue (though we're still very careful), and that food probably is. Just having that information is helpful. I also can definitely correlate many of the "bad" foods from both his tests to reactions. I have been keeping a food diary for 6 months now. It's hard to figure out what's going on with new reactions, but once we peg a food, I can go back and identify the reactions to previous exposures.
I am very hopeful about the new test results and our pending food re-introductions. Here is an article from USBiotek about a little girl with bad eczema on her face and body.http://www.usbiotek.com/Downloads/ne.../USBNLv005.pdf
I'm not sure why the doctor did not recommend skin testing - possibly because that would have meant a referral to an allergist. The blood draws are a little tricky for little ones. My doctor couldn't get the blood draw the first time, so she referred us to Children's Hospital. I have been going to a guy there each time who is able to do it. Once I found him, I always ask for him when we go back. He said that it's hard because the veins move around when they're still little.
When I get the the USBiotek test results, I'll post them and what we think about them for your information.