There are approximately 3 million people living in the U.S. who report some sort of nut allergies, and the number of kids with peanut allergies tripled between 1997 and 2008. A groundbreaking study in 2015 found that exposure to peanuts early on could prevent this, and a new patch might be able to do just that, which would be even groundbreaking-ier.
The Viaskin Peanut Patch delivers a small amount of peanut protein through the skin, allowing the immune system to train itself to tolerate small doses of the allergen. Developed by DBV Technologies, the product has yet to hit the market and is undergoing a series of clinical trials, but results from the first year are promising. The findings, published last week in the Journal Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology, showed that the product was successful 48 percent of the time, and was the most effective in treating children between 4 and 11 years old. No word on whether or not it will come in a PB&J flavor.
This echoes what you already know about strengthening your kid’s immune system (get them while they’re young), while solving a practical problem many parents deal with. And unlike other immunotherapies for allergies, Viaskin doesn’t rely on oral intake — a method that can difficult be difficult for both people with peanut allergies and defiant toddlers. The clinical trial will continue for about another year and a half, and the patch will hopefully hit the market after that. When it does, be sure to have plenty of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups around to celebrate.