What is it?

Allergy to latex refers to a reaction to some proteins in the rubber latex, which is made from the rubber tree. The reaction, triggered by touching rubber latex or inhaling latex particles, may vary from mild itching and hives to anaphylaxis which could be life-threatening. Risk factors for being allergic to latex include spina bifida, undergoing multiple surgeries, being a health care or rubber industry worker, and having other allergies.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include itching, skin redness, a rash, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, scratchy throat, difficulty breathing, wheezing and cough. Anaphylaxis may include difficulty breathing, swelling, nausea, vomiting, wheezing, low blood pressure, dizziness, loss of consciousness, confusion and rapid pulse.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include a skin allergy test.


Treatment

There is no cure for latex allergy, but to avoid latex containing products. In cases of severe allergic reaction, it is important to carry an epipen. Less severe reactions may be treated with antihistamines and steroids.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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