Latex is a natural rubber that is made from the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree. Latex is in a variety of products that we use daily, such as gloves, rubber bands, kid toys, erasers, etc…
A latex allergy occurs when a person’s immune system mistakes latex for harmful invaders such as viruses or bacteria. Depend on your responsiveness to latex, a reaction to latex allergy ranges from mild to life-threatening. Learn and follow this prevention guide is helpful for you to be able to protect yourself from a potentially dangerous condition.
Symptoms of Latex Allergy
People with latex allergy tend to react soon after coming in contact with the latex in rubber gloves or sniffing airborne latex particles. The symptom you get the most from an allergic reaction is a rash at the point of contact dermatitis. Latex allergic reaction can be mild or severe.
Mild latex allergy signs are:
- Itchy skin
- Skin redness or swelling
Severe symptoms of the allergy reaction can include:
- Stuffy or a runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Diarrhea, vomiting
- Chest tightness, difficulty breathing
- Scratchy throat
Particular people are at higher risk of experiencing a latex allergy include:
- People with spina bifida or have undergone multiple surgeries
- Those with a personal or family history of allergies
- People who must wear latex gloves at work
- Health care, food service, childcare workers
- Rubber or tire industry workers
How to prevent?
The only way to prevent an allergic reaction to latex is to avoid the triggers. If you are diagnosed with latex allergy, you should:
- Avoid direct contact with all products and devices that contain latex as much as possible. Remember to avoid things such as natural rubber latex gloves, balloons, condoms and other natural rubber products.
- Avoid areas where latex is possibly inhaled (where powdered latex gloves are being used).
- Be aware of foods with cross-reactive proteins to natural rubber (such as avocados, bananas, papayas, kiwis, grapes, chestnuts).
- Pay attention to ”hidden” latex on food prepared with latex gloves.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations about latex surgery.
- Wear medical alert identification.
- Before go through a dental, surgical or medical procedures or surgery, consult the health care providers about any modifications that may be needed.
Use powder-free gloves in case of must-using latex gloves.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Latex Allergy Checklist. http://latexallergyresources.org/latex-allergy-checklist. Accessed October 23, 2016.
Latex Allergies. http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/latex – Outlook7. Accessed October 23, 2016.
Latex Allergy. http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/1454/. Accessed October 23, 2016.
How to Prevent Latex Allergies. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2012-119/pdfs/2012-119.pdf. Accessed October 23, 2016.