Latex Allergy: Signs and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments


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Latex allergy is really a term that describes the plethora of allergy symptoms to substances in natural latex. An allergic reaction is really a hypersensitivity disorder from the defense mechanisms. Allergy symptoms appear whenever a person’s defense mechanisms reacts to nontoxic substances within the atmosphere, within this situation latex.

Latex could be synthetic or natural. It can be found in the milky fluid that exists within 10% of angiosperms (flowering plants). Latex is really a complex emulsion (mixture with a minimum of two fluids which are normally unblendable), composed of resins, tannins, oils, sugars, starches, alkaloids, proteins and gums which go hard when uncovered to air. Plants usually exude latex after you will find hurt, rather just like a human bleeds following a skin lesion. Natural latex is generally white-colored, but could be scarlet, orange, and yellow. Plants use latex like a defense against insects.

Rubber mitts would be the primary supply of allergy symptoms. Latex can also be used in an array of merchandise, for example condoms and a few medical devices. Latex can be used in over 40,000 products with numerous uses.

Types of products we use that could have latex inside them, include:

  • Band-Aids (UK: sticky plasters)
  • Balloons
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • Bottle nipples
  • Condoms
  • Catheters
  • Dental items, such as dams and orthodontic rubber bands
  • Diaphrams
  • Erasers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Helmets
  • IV tubes
  • Elastic waistbands in pants and underwear
  • Pacifiers
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber cement (used in schools and offices)
  • Rugs and bathmats
  • Shoes
  • Some articles of clothing
  • Some medical devices
  • Surgical gloves
  • Teething toys
  • Toys
  • Ventilator tubing
  • Watch bands.

Not every the brands contain latex. Individuals with allergic reactions should look into the labels, or make contact with the maker.

Latex may trouble unpredicted places

The AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Bronchial asthma & Immunology) warns that less-visible elements in unpredicted environments might also pose some risk for latex exposure. (Connect to article)

Jesse H. Beezhold, PhD, FAAAAI, chair from the AAAAI Latex Allergy Committee, stated:

“Take into account that restaurant your meals are frequently made by cooks putting on latex mitts. In schools, the cafeteria can be a threat, but there’s also potential contact with latex in class supplies. This kind of accidental exposure poses a significant health risks to countless Americans.”

Reasons for latex allergy

latex allergy wrist bracelet

The precise reason for latex allergic reactions is unknown. It seems that repeated and frequent contact with latex and rubber products would bring on signs and symptoms in certain people.

Because the late 1980′s there’s been an impressive rise worldwide in allergy to latex. May well explanation is using universal safeguards for stopping multiplication of infectious illnesses like the AIDS virus. Consequently, using latex mitts is nowadays prevalent. Frequent exposures to latex and rubber goods are common. Healthcare personnel are at particular risk for latex allergy.

Based on the AAAAI, over 10% of healthcare personnel are thought to possess a latex allergy, in addition to over fifty percent of spina bifida patients. Between 1% to sixPercent from the general human population are allergic, experts believe.

Allergic people’s natural defenses identify latex like a virus – an ingredient or organism which harms health. Professionals state that susceptible people respond to a protein within the sap from the rubber tree. The defense mechanisms triggers cells in your body to create IgE (immunoglobulin E) they are antibodies which fight the latex component. Next time your body makes connection with latex, the IgE antibodies sense it and signal the defense mechanisms to produce chemicals, including histamine in to the blood stream.

The greater a susceptible individual is uncovered to latex, the higher their defense mechanisms will probably be – this really is known as sensitization.

What’s latex?

Latex, as you may know it for human use, is really a natural creation that develops from a fluid that’s obtained from the rubber tree present in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Latex surgical gloves

Latex surgical mitts

During manufacturing this fluid is frequently modified. Different procedures take part in the manufacturing process. Frequently, within the situation of rushed production the latex method is not completely washed. Consequently, more “free” latex exists at first glance. This “free” latex accounts for a substantial proportion of latex allergic reactions.

The powder utilized in surgical mitts is an issue. Latex easily stays with the powder that’s generally utilized in surgical mitts. During use, the mitts frequently “snap” if we are wearing them or taking them off. This snapping transmits the powder in to the air. This powder frequently has latex stuck into it. Inhaled latex could be a serious allergic problem.

Around the next page we consider the various kinds of latex allergy and who’s in danger of developing it. Around the final page we discuss detecting latex allergy and also the available treatments.


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Various kinds of latex allergy

We’ll check out the most typical kinds of latex allergy below.

Latex hypersensitivity (Type I)

This can be a serious and rare type of allergy creating a severe immediate reaction that may be existence-threatening. Some patients may react similarly to serious reactions to bee stings.

Signs and symptoms of latex hypersensitivity include

  • rhinitis
  • conjunctivitis
  • irritation
  • severe itching
  • cramps
  • gastrointestinal problems.

Symptoms may progress to:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • tremors
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • low blood pressure.

Those who are seriously allergic to latex can suffer response to clothes, footwear, along with other stuff that contain natural rubber latex (elastic bands, rubber mitts, condoms, pacifiers, baby-bottle nipples, balloons, cars…). People using this type of allergy are extremely sensitive – a kind I reaction could be triggered by contact with airborne particles caused by growing balloons. This could happen whether or not the individual is not present as the balloons are now being inflated.

Allergic contact eczema

Individuals with this kind possess a delayed skin reaction along with a rash after connection with latex.

Signs and signs and symptoms, all the skin, include:

  • scaling
  • burning
  • blistering
  • oozing.

The allergy is because the additives and chemicals accustomed to process the rubber. Today, you will find tests that pick which chemical(s) the individual is allergic to. Every time they discover, they are able to then avoid items that are processed with this chemical.

Irritant contact eczema

This is actually the most everyday sort of reaction as well as the mildest. It causes dry, itchy, inflammed areas onto the skin. Burning and scaling lesions of your skin are most frequently on the patient’s hands. Your skin becomes inflammed after using mitts, frequent hands-washing, incomplete drying, and contact with hands sanitizers, along with the talcum powder substance that mitts are coated in.

Who’s in danger of developing latex allergy?

Many people are genetically predisposed to become allergic to latex. However, repeated contact with latex is essential to have an allergy to build up. People at elevated risk include individuals who’re:

Latex condoms
Those allergic to latex condoms can purchase latex-free ones.

  • Health care workers (physicians, nurses, aides, dentists, dental hygienists, operating room employees, laboratory technicians, hospital housekeeping personnel…). In health care settings, latex is everywhere.
  • People who have had multiple surgical procedures, especially in childhood.
  • People with a defect in their bone marrow cells.
  • Patients who require regular or continuous urinary catheters with a rubber tip.
  • Spinal surgery patients.
  • Those with eczema.
  • Individuals affected by asthma.
  • People with allergies. Especially those with allergies to plant foods, such as mango, kiwi, avocado, pineapple, banana, chestnuts, strawberry, and passion fruit. (See below “What is a cross reaction?)
  • Employees who work distributing or delivering latex products.
  • Rubber industry workers.
  • People who work in car-tire factories
  • Condom users.

Exactly what is a mix reaction?

Some those who are allergic to latex can also be allergic to a particular foods – we refer to this as a Mix Reaction. When this happens, your body’s immune signs and symptoms responds in the same manner, producing exactly the same allergic signs and symptoms as would occur with contact with latex.

Mix reactions won’t be the same for those people. Although some people respond to all foods recognized to result in a mix reaction, others might not. In the same manner, if you’re allergic to the foods the following, you could also be allergic to latex:

  • Some fruits – strawberries, pineapple, pears, nectarines, cherries, passion fruit, papaya, melons, grapes, figs, plums, peaches, kiwi, bananas, and apples
  • Vegetables – tomatoes, avocados, celery, carrots, and raw potatoes
  • Some nuts – hazelnuts and chestnuts
  • Some cereals – rye and wheat.

Anybody planning to undergo a medical procedure should tell their doctor if they are allergic to any of these foods. There is a risk they may have a cross reaction to latex.

On the final page we look at the diagnosis of latex allergy and the available treatments for it.


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Proper diagnosis of latex allergy

The physician may order a typical allergy patch test, which could see whether the individual is responsive to latex along with other similar substances. Great care must be taken when you are performing this test, because in some instances patients could have a strong reaction.

The doctor might also order a bloodstream test.

Treating latex allergy

There’s no current treatment open to desensitize someone who is allergic to latex. Quite simply, there’s not a way to avoid a hypersensitive reaction if somebody is allergic to latex and makes connection with it.

Allergy symptoms are given antihistamines, adrenaline, and steroids.

The best way to deal with this kind of allergy would be to avoid products that contains latex. Patients should learn to identify and avoid items that might contain latex. There are more substances you can use to substitute latex, for example polymers (nitrile, SBR, Butyl, Vitron) and artificial elastic, for example elastane or neoprene.

Powder-free latex mitts – research transported out in the Medical College of Wisconsin discovered that the easiest method to prevent allergic sensitization to latex would be to stop using powdered latex mitts. In so doing, they reduced the allergen in mid-air as well as in ductwork at two hospitals, and effectively avoided sensitization to latex in hospital employees at both institutions. (Connect to article)

Regrettably, makers of latex-that contains goods are not legally needed to say on their own labels which chemicals were utilized in the manufacturing process. Products produced from natural rubber that contains other emulsions appear to possess a really low possibility of causing sensitization.

In some instances, the patients’ sensitivity is really increased that substitute of Latex-that contains products with non-latex ones can always create a reaction. It is because the latex-free ones are produced within the same facility because the Latex-that contains products, and you will find traces of latex still about. Individuals cases are similar to food hypersensitivity sufferers (peanuts, nuts…) who’re not able to eat other produce produced in exactly the same plant.

Some goods are labeled “safe latex” through the manufacturer. This signifies lower proportions of natural latex. However, they are able to still cause latex allergy. Patients should watch out for such labeling.