Who Can Develop Latex Allergy
Anyone can develop an allergy to latex, but it is more common in people who are exposed to latex regularly.
It would seem that people with hay fever who are also in contact with latex regularly have an even higher risk of developing an allergy to latex.
People who are in contact with latex products on a regular basis include health care workers, people who work in the rubber industry and people who have had a lot of operations, especially during childhood.
People with spina bifida and problems with their urinary system are also at a higher risk of developing latex allergy due to the number of medical products containing latex they use to manage their condition.
People who are allergic to certain foods may also be at risk of developing latex allergy. These foods include: bananas, avocados, kiwi fruit, mangoes, chestnuts, potatoes and tomatoes. These particular foods contain similar proteins to those found in latex.
How Do You Know If You Have A Latex Allergy
Given the prevalence of rubber latex in so many everyday products, it can be hard to pinpoint whether its a latex allergy or something else thats led to your discomfort.
Now that youre more aware of which products contain latex, if youre ever around those products and you have an allergic reaction, then its likely you have a latex allergy. Even still, the best way to confirm such an allergy is to see an allergist for a diagnosis.
Your allergist may perform a blood test, to check the presence of Immunoglobulin E to latex. The allergist will prick your skin once to gauge the number of antibodies in the blood. Remember, with any allergy, your immune system recognizes the allergen as a threat. To react, the immune system begins making antibodies known as or IgE. The IgE is what leads to your allergy symptoms.
Who Is At Risk For Developing Latex Allergy
People who have frequent exposure to latex from medical procedures are at greater risk for developing latex allergy. They include:
Children with spina bifida
Children born with defects of the urinary system
Children or adults who have had many surgeries
People who have allergies to certain foods may also have latex allergies. The foods include: bananas, avocados, chestnuts, kiwi, passion fruit, papaya, figs, peaches, nectarines, plums, tomatoes, and celery.
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What Are Latex Cross
Many foods have similar proteins to latex even if they dont contain actual latex. When a person with a latex allergy eats food with these proteins, they may have an allergic reaction. The foods are called latex cross-reactive foods.
Prevention is the key with cross-reactive foods. Once a food is identified as a latex cross-reactive food, the individual with latex allergy should avoid exposure to that food.
What Foods Should I Avoid If I Have A Latex Allergy
Several foods can cause an allergic reaction in people with a latex allergy. Most people with latex allergy are not allergic to these foods, and you should only avoid them if directed by your allergy/ immunology healthcare provider. Foods more likely to cause a reaction in people with latex allergy include:
- Fruits such as apples, bananas, avocados, peaches, kiwi, nectarines, melon, figs, papayas and tomatoes.
- Vegetables such as potatoes, celery and carrots.
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How To Treat A Reaction To Latex Condoms
If youve had an allergic reaction, and you think latex condoms are the cause, the first thing to do is to avoid exposure to any more latex. This means avoiding using latex condoms, and avoiding using other products that contain latex, such as:
- Medical gloves
- Handles of toys and machines
- Baby bottle teats
- Office equipment
In the short term, you can treat a mild reaction by rinsing the affected area with cool water and taking antihistamine tablets. You can get antihistamines from LloydsPharmacy, but if you arent sure about which antihistamines to use, visit your local LloydsPharmacy and talk to one of our pharmacists for advice.
In the long term, it can be a good idea to talk to your GP about your suspected allergy especially if the symptoms have been quite severe. If youve had a more serious reaction affecting your breathing or causing anaphylaxis your GP might refer you for allergy testing.
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People At Increased Risk Of Latex Allergy
Certain people are at increased risk of developing latex allergy including:
- health care workers who are frequently exposed to latex through medical equipment like gloves
- people who have had many operations, particularly from a young age, such as those with spina bifida
- people who work in latex manufacture
- people with pre-existing allergies, such as hay fever, asthma and eczema
- people with allergies to particular foods, including avocado and banana.
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When To Call The Doctor
Your provider may prescribe epinephrine if you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction to latex. Know how to use this medicine if you have an allergic reaction.
- Epinephrine is injected and slows down or stops allergic reactions.
- Epinephrine comes as a kit.
- Carry this medicine with you if you have had a severe reaction to latex in the past.
- Dry, itchy skin
Latex products Latex allergy Latex sensitivity Contact dermatitis – latex allergy
Which Is Better Latex Or Vinyl Gloves
Latex gloves have superior resistance to tear, puncture and are also more waterproof because it is easier to control the level of microholes, therefore safer for risk jobs eg with biological material. Vinyl gloves, being devoid of natural proteins, can also be used by people allergic to latex proteins.
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Can A Latex Allergy Be Treated
There is no cure for latex allergy. If you are allergic to latex, you should:
- Avoid products that contain latex.
- Tell providers, caregivers, teachers and friends that theyâre allergic.
- Avoid areas where latex may be in the air, such as a hospital room where providers use latex gloves.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about wearing a medical alert bracelet. In a medical emergency, the bracelet lets others know youâre allergic to latex.
- If an IgE-mediated allergic reaction to latex is diagnosed, you should carry injectable epinephrine with you. Show caregivers, friends and family members how to give you an injection if youâre having a reaction and canât inject yourself.
What Does A Latex Allergy Look Like On Skin
Skin irritation: Itching, inflammation, redness and swelling appear after skin contact with latex. For example, you may have itchy lips after blowing up a balloon or vaginal irritation after having sex with a partner who used a latex condom. Rash: An itchy rash appears where the latex touched your skin.
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Where To Find Latex Gloves Alternatives
By the way, did you know that you can find latex glove alternatives in our store? Yes, it’s true. We have a full collection to provide safety for anyone allergic to latex gloves. Go here to see the different types of disposable gloves we have in stock and ready to ship.
Now that you know how to avoid an allergic reaction to latex gloves completely, what are your favorite non-latex glove alternatives?
What Are The Symptoms Of Latex Allergy
Signs of an allergic reaction to latex can be mild or severe. They can appear right after exposure to latex or up to a few hours later. You might not have symptoms the first time you come into contact with latex. Latex allergy symptoms include:
- Skin irritation: Itching, inflammation, redness and swelling appear after skin contact with latex. For example, you may have itchy lips after blowing up a balloon or vaginal irritation after having sex with a partner who used a latex condom.
- Rash: An itchy rash appears where the latex touched your skin. A latex allergy rash usually occurs within a day after exposure. The rash can spread if it touches skin on other parts of your body. But you can get a rash from other factors, such as using too much hand sanitizer or washing your hands too often.
- Hives, runny nose and sneezing: Itchy, watery eyes and inflammation around the nose and mouth are common. Eyes may become swollen and red.
- Trouble breathing: People who have severe allergic reactions may wheeze or have difficulty breathing. In severe cases, anaphylaxis may occur. Anaphylaxis can be fatal. If you or someone you know is having an allergic reaction and canât breathe, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
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Common Products With Latex
It can be difficult to identify all products that contain latex, and, unfortunately, there’s a lack of latex-free alternatives for many products. Some alternatives to latex include vinyl, silicone, and plastic.
Common household products that may contain latex include:
- Rubber balls and beach toys
Symptoms Of Latex Allergy
The symptoms range in severity depending on the individual, but can include:
- lesions that are irritated by sweat and friction
- hay fever symptoms, such as running nose and itchy eyes
- wheezing and breathing difficulties
- drop in blood pressure
- anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock severe symptoms include airways swelling to the point of suffocation. Anaphylaxis is an emergency and can be fatal. In an emergency call 000 for an ambulance.
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What Precautions Should I Take
- Avoid contact with all latex containing products. The biggest risk in children comes from contact with rubber gloves and balloons. Latex free substitutes should be used.
- Avoid takeaway food which is prepared or served by food handlers wearing latex gloves.
- Tell your childs doctor or dentist about your ‘latex allergic status’ when asked about ‘drug allergy’.
- Obtain a ‘Medic Alert’ bracelet for your child.
Can Latex Allergy Be Prevented Or Avoided
If you are a health care worker or a patient, everyone around you should wear powder-free latex gloves or non-latex gloves. If you are a health care worker, compare different kinds of non-latex gloves to find the ones that are best for you.
Always wear or carry a medical alert bracelet, necklace, or keychain. This will warn emergency medical technicians and doctors that you are allergic to latex. Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for an epinephrine self-injection pen. You will use this pen in case of a serious reaction. You may wish to carry non-latex gloves with you all the time. Emergency personnel can use these if you need medical attention.
If you are exposed to latex at your job, tell your employer and co-workers about your latex allergy. Avoid latex gloves completely if youre not at risk for blood and body fluid contamination. Use powder-free gloves if latex gloves are preferable. These measures will help keep others from becoming allergic to latex.
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Can I Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Latex
There is no way to prevent a latex allergy, but you may be able to avoid an allergic reaction. If youâre allergic to latex, you should avoid products that contain latex. Before a medical procedure or dental work, tell your providers about your allergy. Ask them to use latex-free gloves and equipment.
When ordering from a restaurant, if you have a severe latex allergy, ask the person who prepares your food to wear latex-free gloves.
Many everyday household items, medical equipment and clothing contain latex. Itâs essential to read labels carefully. You should avoid products that contain latex, including:
- Parts of clothing and shoes, such as elastic in underwear, raincoats and rain boots, and the soles of sneakers or other shoes.
- Items around the house, including rubber bands, carpet backing, and some toys and bandages.
- Personal care items like sanitary napkins, condoms and diaphragms.
- Pacifiers and nipples for baby bottles.
- Some types of makeup, face paint and masks used for costumes.
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What Can I Do About It
If this sounds like whatâs going on with you, talk to your doctor about getting tested to make sure youâre actually allergic to latex. If you go into shock, remember that you should seek help immediately. And if youâre experiencing any symptoms, itâs a good idea to mention them to your doctor. Here are a couple changes that might also help your symptoms.
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Iv The General Public
It is worth noting that latex allergy does not exist exclusively among the aforementioned occupational groups. Reports have suggested that general populations who have not had occupational contact with latex products can also develop latex sensitization and latex allergy .3). Data analysis from limited studies suggests that the average latex allergy prevalence among the general population worldwide is 4.3%.
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What Do You Do If You Are Allergic To Latex Condoms
What effective, latex-free options are available?
I Application Of Latex In Medical And Food Industries
With the advent of technical abilities to produce suitable and flexible natural rubber latex materials for commercial application, latex has been used to manufacture medical gloves for over 100 years. To prevent medical workers from dermatitis due to contact with chemicals, Dr. William Halsted, an American surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, invented latex surgical gloves. In the 1980s, healthcare workers dramatically increased the use of latex gloves because of concerns of infectious agents . When compared with synthetic gloves , latex gloves appear to be stronger, more flexible, and protective, and hence are better acceptable by workers.
Today, rubber latex is present in many food and medical products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the application of natural rubber latex in food additives , food packaging , and medical devices . Table lists the regulations passed by FDA to allow the usage of natural rubber latex in food and medical industries as of September 1, 2014.
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How Is Latex Allergy Treated
The best treatment for latex allergy is avoidance. If you have severe latex allergy reaction you should:
- Wear medical alert identification
- Carry an epinephrine auto-injector for emergency treatment
Health care workers with a history of latex sensitivity who must wear gloves should stop wearing latex gloves. Their co-workers should also not use latex gloves, but rather switch to synthetic gloves.
Patients with latex allergy are at risk of asthma on exposure to latex-containing aerosols. They should try to avoid areas where powdered latex gloves or other latex products are used.
Who Is Likely To Have A Latex Allergy
Less than 1% of people in the US have a latex allergy. Although latex allergy is rare, the condition is more common in certain high-risk groups.
The highest risk is in children with spina bifida. Spina bifida is a condition in which the spine fails to form completely before birth. More than three out of every five children with spina bifida are allergic to latex.
Children who have frequent medical treatments or lengthy surgeries are also at high risk. Many medical supplies use latex from gloves to tubing to enema tips.
Between 8 to 17% of health care workers and others who regularly use latex gloves are allergic to latex. Health care workers and children who have other allergies and get contact dermatitis when they use latex gloves are more likely to develop a latex allergy.
New cases of latex allergy are no longer common. However, in the 1980s and 1990s they were much more frequent. Now, many health care facilities use non-latex gloves and products.
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Is There A Connection Between Latex Allergy And Foods
Some rubber proteins are similar to food proteins. Therefore, some foods may also cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to latex. The most common of these foods are banana, avocado, chestnut, kiwi fruit, and passion fruit. Although many other foods can cause an allergic reaction, avoiding all of them might cause nutrition problems. Therefore, its recommended that you avoid only the foods that have already given you an allergic reaction.
What Are The Different Types Of Latex Allergy
A latex allergy can be caused by direct contact with latex gloves touching the skin or by inhaling airborne particles. The two types of direct contact allergies to natural rubber products include Type I IgE-mediated allergic reaction and Type IV cell-mediated contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is a third type of reaction that is not caused by an allergy.
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