Skin patch may help children overcome peanut allergies

7-year-old Hannah Butt of Lancaster, PA is one of the patients who  took part in the trial.
Photo credit Courtesy of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A skin patch could be used to protect kids from peanut allergies. 

Peanut allergies are common in kids and can be deadly. Doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are part of a study testing a skin patch to reprogram a child's immune system so they can tolerate the nuts.

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Dr. Terri Brown, attending physician in Division of Allergy, says for one year, children wore a skin patch containing tiny amounts of peanut. 

"After one year, a third of the children improved who were wearing the patch, meaning they didn't tolerate the equivalent of a peanut and then after, depending on where they started, they would tolerate an accidental ingestion or tolerate a peanut or even more, up to three peanuts depending on the child," Brown said. 

Researchers are now trying to see if wearing the patch for three years is more effective.