Latex gloves have proved effective in preventing transmission of many infectious diseases to health care workers. But for some workers, exposures to latex may result in allergic reactionsa. Reports of such reactions have increased in recent years—especially among health care workers. Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins in latex rubber. The amount of latex exposure needed to produce sensitization or an allergic reaction is unknown.
Most people also don't know that latex is all around us. Most healthcare workers don't know Cheap penus enlargement surgery symptoms of a latex allergy or how to treat a latex allergy. Latex Allergy. Reports allerhy such reactions have increased in recent years—especially among health care workers. Latex gloves have proved effective in preventing transmission of many infectious diseases to health care workers. Many common products contain latex, imformation you can usually find Latex allergy information suitable option. Anyone who wears powdered latex gloves can develop this condition. Read the Whole Story Here.
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What is a Latex Allergy? Although medications are available to reduce the symptoms of latex allergy, there is no cure. Aloergy, after more exposure to Latex, some people will have an anaphylaxis reaction causing sudden shortness of breath and swelling. Many health care facilities use nonlatex gloves. Some facilities have also set up systems for identification of staff and patients with latex allergy. These include disposable gloves, dental dams, Elkhart lesbian and intravenous tubing, syringes, stethoscopes, catheters, dressings and bandages. This dermatitis is recognized by the eczema and blisters on the back of the hands. They verified that Disney's current food service practice requires the use of Latex allergy information Vinyl gloves during food alelrgy and reusable Latex Ingormation gloves during the dishwashing process. Latex allergy: Management. Your doctor will also ask questions to rule out other reasons for your symptoms. What foods are potential problems for people with latex allergy?
Natural rubber latex, a milky fluid found in rubber trees, is used to make some gloves, condoms, balloons, rubber bands, erasers and toys.
- What is a Latex allergy?
- Latex is found in a variety of products, from everyday household items to many articles used in routine medical and dental care.
- This site was created to provide a medium for educating the general public and influential individuals of the dangers of latex overexposure and to collect statistical data about how may people suffer from a latex allergy.
- Latex gloves have proved effective in preventing transmission of many infectious diseases to health care workers.
Latex is found in a variety of products, from everyday household items to many articles used in routine medical and dental care. An allergic reaction to natural rubber latex is actually a reaction to a protein contained in the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. This sap is used in manufacturing latex products. If someone who is sensitive to this protein comes in contact with it by touching or breathing it, an allergic reaction can occur.
This allergic reaction can range from a simple skin rash to shock which is rare. The amount of latex exposure needed to produce sensitization or an allergic reaction is unknown, but frequent exposure to latex proteins increases the risk. People who experience allergic symptoms should avoid contact until medically evaluated. Some other chemicals used in the manufacture of gloves may also cause sensitization and serious reactions, particularly skin reactions.
Latex is used in a variety of products. Many everyday items contain latex but not all brands of all these items always contain latex. Check labels or contact the manufacturer. Following are examples of some products that may contain latex:. It is difficult to determine just how widespread a problem latex allergy may be. Less than 1 percent of the general population is reported to have a reaction to latex.
Despite this, more than 1, cases of latex allergy have been reported to the U. Many more cases probably go unreported. Latex allergy reactions occur more frequently in high-risk professions due to increased exposure to latex products. In the health care profession, up to 12 percent of staff may be affected. In addition, the use of latex gloves in other settings e. From to , the number of latex gloves imported in the United States increased by percent.
NIOSH has reported that changes in the manufacturing process of some latex products may have contributed to the increase in observed latex allergy. Anaphylactic shock is rare. The risk of anaphylactic shock seems to be greatest in people who have had previous allergic reactions to products that contain latex or prior unexplained anaphylaxis.
Health care workers with a history of worsening latex allergy symptoms should be especially cautious. Those at risk include people whose job or medical status puts them in frequent direct contact with latex. Health care workers and dental workers are those most often exposed to latex, principally by using latex gloves that are powdered to make them easier to put on.
The powder binds with the latex proteins and becomes airborne. It can then be inhaled and cause an allergic response. People at increased risk include:. People allergic to latex may also be allergic to similar proteins found in some food items. This is called a cross reaction. When this occurs, your body responds with the same allergic symptoms that you would have if you were exposed to latex.
Cross reactions differ from one individual to another. Someone may have a reaction to all the foods noted to cause cross reaction while another may have no reaction at all. Likewise, if you are allergic to any of the food items listed below, you may also be allergic to latex. If you are allergic to any of the listed food items, inform your doctor before undergoing any medical procedure.
People allergic to these foods have been known to have cross allergic reactions during surgery. Hospitals and health care facilities are beginning to create latex-safe treatment areas and surgical suites to accommodate people who are allergic to latex. Check with your local hospital. Some facilities have also set up systems for identification of staff and patients with latex allergy.
In addition, many facilities have moved to low protein, powder-free or nonlatex gloves. Navigation menu. Latex Allergy Information What is latex allergy? What items contain natural rubber latex? Following are examples of some products that may contain latex: medical devices, such as gloves, syringes, blood pressure cuffs, bandages, IV tubes and catheters; dental items, such as toothbrushes with rubber grips, irrigation tips, dams, orthodontic rubber bands and elastic; clothing items, such as the elastic waistband in pants, underwear, sneakers, socks and pantyhose, swimsuits; children's items such as bottle nipples, diapers, rubber pants, pacifiers, teething toys, infant gum massagers and toys; household items such as flooring, rug mats, bathmats, rubber gloves, tires and mats; personal care items such as diaphragms, condoms and adult diapers; office supplies such as rubber bands and erasers; school supplies such as erasers, rubber cement and paint.
How common is an allergy to natural rubber latex? Latex has been used for many years. Why is it now becoming a problem? What are some of the symptoms of latex allergy? Who is at risk? People at increased risk include: multiple allergy sufferers; children with spina bifida or multiple surgeries at an early age; health care workers: doctors, nurses, surgical staff, dentists, dental hygienists, emergency medical services personnel, lab technicians; people who undergo frequent medical procedures such as catheterization; anyone working in the latex rubber industry tire factories, rubber manufacturing and glove manufacturing ; child care providers; food service workers; housekeeping staff in and outside health care facilities; law enforcement professionals; firefighters; funeral home employees; hairdressers; people with a history of worsening allergic reaction to foods known to cross react see below with natural rubber latex.
What is a cross reaction? What foods may cause a cross reaction? Following are some foods that may cause a cross reaction: apples, bananas, kiwi, peaches, plums, figs, grapes, melons, papaya, passion fruit, cherries, nectarines, pears, pineapple and strawberries; carrots, celery, raw potatoes, avocados and tomatoes; chestnuts and hazelnuts; wheat and rye.
What can I do to reduce the risk of developing an allergy to latex? If you work in a job that exposes you to latex, take advantage of all latex allergy education and training provided by your employer. Become familiar with procedures for preventing latex allergy. Learn the symptoms of latex allergy. Use nonlatex gloves for activities that are not likely to involve contact with infectious material food preparation and housekeeping.
If latex gloves are used, powder-free gloves with reduced protein content may reduce the risk of developing an allergy to latex. When wearing latex gloves, do not use oil-based hand creams or lotions which can cause glove deterioration.
After removing latex gloves, wash hands with mild soap and dry them thoroughly. What should I do if I suspect I have a latex allergy? Avoid contact with latex products. Be evaluated by a physician experienced in diagnosing latex allergy.
What are some things I can do to protect myself if I am allergic to latex? Avoid contact with natural rubber latex products. If you have to wear gloves in your work, ask your employer for nonlatex gloves. Avoid areas where you might inhale the powder from latex gloves worn by other workers.
Wear a personal medical emergency ID bracelet. If prescribed by your physician, carry an emergency epinephrine kit in case you are accidentally exposed to latex and go into anaphylactic shock.
Learn how to use it and make sure family members, friends and fellow employees know how to use it. If you use latex-based products on the job, alert your employer about your allergy. Before dental and medical procedures or examinations, alert health care providers about your allergy. Ask to be scheduled as the first patient in the morning to minimize your exposure to airborne latex particles. Participate in educational and training programs regarding latex allergy.
Work with your allergist, local hospital and medical facilities to find latex-safe environments where you can go for treatment. Contact your local emergency responders police, fire and ambulance service to inform them of your condition so a plan of care can be developed before there is an actual emergency. What are health care facilities doing to protect people with latex allergy?
Where can I get more information? Governmental Sources U. Humphrey Bldg. Questions or comments: boh health. Your browser does not support iFrames.
Can you get asthma as an adult? Likewise, if you are allergic to any of the food items listed below, you may also be allergic to latex. Latex Banished from Johns Hopkins Hospital. The doctor will use a tiny needle to place a small amount of latex below the surface of the skin on your forearm or back. Learn the signs and symptoms of different types of insect sting allergy. Check labels or contact the manufacturer.
Latex allergy information. Start Here
Skip to content. Learn the signs and symptoms of food allergy. I think my allergist kept me alive. Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your allergies and asthma, so you can live the life you want.
An allergist has specialized training and expertise in managing allergies, allergic rhinitis and asthma. They can develop a plan for rhinitis treatment. The goal will be to enable you to lead a life that is as normal and symptom-free as possible.
Natural rubber latex comes from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, found in Africa and Southeast Asia. Allergic reactions to products made with latex develop in persons who become allergic or sensitized to proteins contained in natural rubber latex. Natural rubber latex should not be confused with synthetic rubber made from chemicals. Latex is a common component of many medical and dental supplies. These include disposable gloves, dental dams, airway and intravenous tubing, syringes, stethoscopes, catheters, dressings and bandages.
Latex also is found in many consumer products. These include condoms, handbags, balloons, athletic shoes, tires, tools, underwear leg and waistbands, rubber toys, baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers.
What triggers the allergic reaction to latex? When people with latex allergy come into direct contact with latex, an allergic reaction may follow.
Common examples include:. In most cases, latex allergy develops after many previous exposures to latex. Latex allergy symptoms may include hives , itching, stuffy or runny nose. It can cause asthma symptoms of wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Symptoms begin within minutes after exposure to latex containing products. Allergic skin problems can occur following direct contact with allergic latex proteins in latex glove products.
Symptoms may include immediate itching, redness and swelling of skin that touched the item containing latex. These and other latex allergic reactions are less common now. This dermatitis is recognized by the eczema and blisters on the back of the hands. It resembles a poison ivy rash, and begins 1 to 3 days after wearing rubber gloves. Direct physical contact with latex products is not needed to trigger an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis and severe asthmatic reactions have been caused by inhaling latex proteins in the air resulting from the powder in the latex glove.
If you have latex allergy you also can have food allergies. The foods most likely to cause this problem include: apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, chestnut, kiwi, melons, papaya, raw potato and tomato. How is latex allergy diagnosed?
Latex allergy is diagnosed by an allergy blood test. The best treatment for latex allergy is avoidance. If you have severe latex allergy reaction you should:. 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.
If you have latex allergy you should avoid direct contact with all products and devices that contain latex. Also avoid food that causes an allergic reaction. Latex allergy problems during dental, medical or surgical procedures can be prevented by warning health care providers about latex allergy before any test or treatment.
Latex allergic people can receive medical or dental care in a latex-safe area. Hospitals and clinics that use only low protein latex gloves and non-latex gloves have experienced dramatic declines in new cases of latex allergy. Allergists can provide latex-allergic people with information and assistance to help them avoid products which may contain latex.
The American Latex Allergy Association also has additional information. Toggle navigation. Member Sign-in Enter terms. Contact Dermatitis Eczema. Types of Allergies. Only an allergist or other doctor experienced in skin testing should perform this test. Although medications are available to reduce the symptoms of latex allergy, there is no cure.
The only way to prevent a latex allergic reaction is to avoid products that contain latex. Despite your best efforts to avoid latex, you may come into contact with it. If you've had a severe allergic reaction to latex, you may need to carry injectable epinephrine with you at all times. If you have an anaphylactic reaction, you will need to go to the emergency room for an immediate injection of adrenaline epinephrine.
For less severe reactions, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids, which you can take after exposure to latex to control your reaction and help relieve discomfort.
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in allergies allergist. Preparing a list of questions before your appointment will help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
For latex allergy, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
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Natural rubber latex, a milky fluid found in rubber trees, is used to make some gloves, condoms, balloons, rubber bands, erasers and toys. Latex can also be found in bottle nipples and pacifiers. It may be surprising, but latex paints do not contain any natural rubber latex protein.
Latex allergy was unusual until the late s when more healthcare workers began using powdered latex gloves to control infections. Reactions to Latex Allergy symptoms are the result of a chain reaction that starts in the immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. If you have an allergy, your immune system identifies something that is typically harmless as an invader or allergen.
With latex allergy, it overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E IgE that can react with contaminating proteins found in the natural rubber latex. These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. This reaction usually appears in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin.
People with this allergy have symptoms such as urticaria or hives, itching or flushing, swelling, sneezing, runny nose, cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness. Any combination of these symptoms can be a sign of anaphylaxis an-a-fi-LAK-sis , a life-threatening reaction that needs immediate medical attention. Other chemicals used to make latex gloves can cause a delayed onset rash which only forms where the material touches the skin.
This is called contact dermatitis. Red, itchy bumps or blisters usually appear within 12 to 48 hours. These symptoms are irritating, but not life-threatening. Latex can also become airborne and cause respiratory symptoms.
For example, latex proteins can attach to the cornstarch powder used in latex gloves. As powdered latex gloves are used, the starch particles and latex allergens become airborne, where they can be inhaled or come into contact with your nose or eyes and cause symptoms.
High concentrations of this allergenic powder have been measured in intensive care units and operating rooms. Using non-powdered latex gloves, or synthetic vinyl, nitrile gloves reduces the risk of these reactions. The capacity of latex products — especially gloves — to cause allergic reactions varies enormously by brand and by production lot. Treating Latex Allergy There is no cure for latex allergy. People with severe reactions must simply avoid latex.
The first step in living with a latex allergy is being aware of the problem. Your allergist may prescribe an antihistamine to take for mild latex allergy symptoms. Your allergist may also prescribe epinephrine, or adrenaline, to keep with you in case you have a severe reaction to latex. Your physician can help decide whether you should wear a bracelet that alerts people about your allergy. If your allergy is severe, it is important to tell your family, employer, school personnel and healthcare providers about your allergy and have an action plan.
Remember, the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA covers people with severe allergies to substances such as latex. Talk with your employer about your options. If you need surgery, ask that everything be latex-free. If you have trouble breathing when you are around latex, stay away from areas where powdered gloves are used and avoid all direct contact with latex. If you must wear gloves, try substituting vinyl or nitrile gloves for latex. Synthetic latex gloves do not contain natural latex and are another option.
These work in nearly all situations, including surgery, but they may be more expensive. If you tend to get a skin rash reaction to latex, latex gloves made without additional chemicals may be a good choice. Latex condoms may cause serious allergic reactions in some people. If either partner has a latex allergy, synthetic rubber condoms are the best choice, although natural skin condoms may be used.
Natural skin condoms are not recommended for the protection against sexually transmitted infections STI's or the human immunodeficiency virus HIV. Latex balloons have also been known to cause serious reactions in those with a latex allergy. Avoid direct contact especially blowing up balloons and those with trouble breathing when exposed to latex or powdered latex should be cautious when entering enclosed spaces containing rubber balloons such as in parties or when used as decorations.
Who is Most at Risk? Healthcare and rubber industry workers are at more risk for developing serious allergic reactions to latex. Also at increased risk are people who have had multiple medical procedures or surgeries. This is because the greatest danger of a severe reaction happens when latex comes in contact with moist areas of the body, such as during surgery.
If you have a latex allergy, you also have a greater risk of being allergic to certain foods including bananas, avocados, kiwi fruit and European chestnuts. These foods and latex share certain proteins which cause a reaction in people with this allergy. This is irritating, but not life-threatening. These symptoms include hives, itching or flushing, swelling, sneezing, runny nose, cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness.
People with severe reactions must avoid latex. Find out more about latex allergies.