Peanut allergies are on the rise, but soon there may be a better way to treat them. Seattle researchers are testing out a new patch that could finally give families some peace of mind.
Since Spencer Baty was 3-years-old, he has had allergies, but he said peanuts are the worst. Now, Baty, 10, is the first local patient in a national study looking at a new treatment for food allergies.
"If this works, it really reduces potential anxiety that you have on a daily basis. And its not just the child, it's the family too," said Dr. David Naimi, DO, Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center and the Seattle Food Allergy Consortium.
Even with all the precautions, managing food allergies can be a full time job for parents and patients.
"You worry about the time when you're not prepared and it would be nice not to have to worry about that," said David Baty, Spencer's dad.
The trial involves wearing a skin patch that exposes Baty to a constant level of a peanut protein. He also commits to making daily records of when he takes the patch on and off.
The idea is to build up tolerance.
"If it does work, it's really awesome. I can actually have a peanut butter jelly sandwich," said Baty. "Even if it doesn't work and it just makes it like not quite as bad of a reaction, it's still good too so when I do have a reaction, it won't be quite as bad as it was before."
Naimi said the ultimate goal is to find a cure for food allergies.
"At this point I think we're densensitizing kids which is very exciting and allows them to have better quality of life," said Naimi.