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Latex Allergy

Latex is produced by rubber trees and is associated with several adverse reactions including:

Allergy (allergy antibody dependent):

Individuals with latex allergy develop allergy antibodies (IgE) targeted against latex protein. When these IgE antibodies bind latex protein, allergic inflammation can occur resulting in symptoms of:

Some patients with latex allergy also experience allergic reactions on ingestion of banana, avocado, chestnut, kiwi or tomato.  This occurs due to allergen cross reactivity between proteins found in latex and in these foods.

Allergists are the experts in latex allergy and diagnose this condition by history, exam and allergy tests. Treatment options are:

  • Latex Avoidance
  • Maintenance of an Epinephrine Auto-Injector

The goals in the treatment of latex allergy are the prevention of symptoms and, in the case of accidental latex exposure, the management of adverse allergic symptoms including anaphylaxis.

By visiting an Allergist, you too can take control of your latex allergy and improve your quality of life.

Contact Allergic Dermatitis:

Latex in gloves, shoes, and other products can cause a contact allergic dermatitis, an eczematous type of dermatitis characterized by itchy, red skin with small blisters which can chronically develop into a scaly, thickened skin.  Allergists are experts in latex contact allergic dermatitis and diagnose this condition by history, exam and patch testing.  Treatment is latex avoidance and use of topical steroids in the case of current related dermatitis.

Irritant Dermatitis:

Irritant dermatitis to latex is the most common adverse reaction to latex containing products.  It is non-immunologic and is characterized by dry, itchy, red, and irritated skin.  Irritant dermatitis often develops on the hands after wearing latex gloves.  Irritant dermatitis to latex gloves can be secondary to irritant chemicals contained in latex gloves, hand washing, or use of sanitizers.  This condition is diagnosed by history, exam, and exclusion of latex allergy and latex contact allergic dermatitis.  Treatment is avoidance of irritant triggers.

By visiting an Allergist, you too can take control of your latex related adverse symptoms and improve your quality of life.

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