Latex, as normally called is a rubber made from the milky sap of the very famous Brazilian rubber tree
What is Latex Allergy?
Needless to say, that latex is used in every single thing in a large variety. These include not only stationary but also various medical equipment like gloves, tubes, etc. And you will be surprised to know that even in food that we consume, you will find ingredients and contents like edible latex proteins.
How is it caused?
But how many of you know that an allergy is basically named after this latex/rubber. This is when your immune system starts to react abnormally to a harmless substance as if it were to be an antibody or any foreign substance or any invader like any virus. Several antibodies including antihistamines got released. These speed up till the invasion is reached so that it can result in an inflammatory immune response.
According to an American research center – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this allergy affects almost 5 to 6 percent of Americans. Thus you can sum up saying that this is a rarely found disease. This may range from mild to severe in some cases. In cases where the allergic reactions have reached grade four or are in their extreme form, it can be complicated to cure. It can be life threatening too.
What are the Symptoms?
Though allergic reactions can differ from patient to patient, yet you will find some similar results and symptoms for latex allergy. These allergic reactions to latex can take the form of some skin rash or any skin irritability at some point in time. This can also mistakenly be considered as some skin or other normal allergic reactions.
Some signs include:
- Itchiness on hands
- Skin Rashes
- Cracking of the skin of your hands
- Too much of dryness of the skin of your hands
These reactions may be temporary and thus can be ignored in most of the cases. For such transient responses like itchiness or dryness, your doctor can only prescribe dermatological creams like calamine lotion that may soothe down these effects.
However, latex proteins are sometimes airborne as well. This cannot be known to many and is often ignored in many cases. This generally happens when a hypersensitive person unknowingly breathes them in and develop more severe reactions in such cases. These include:
- swollen face, skin, lips, or tongue
- runny or stuffy nose
- shortness of breath
- abdominal pain
- rapid heartbeat
Products that contain latex should be avoided contact with. Hundreds and thousands of known products are said to contain latex. Try to avoid using those items –
- medical gloves
- medical tubes
- catheters and blood pressures cuffs
- clothing and apparels too have elastic bands such as underwear, pants, raincoats, shoes, etc.
- few of the stationary as well, like erasers, rubber bands, rubber cement, adhesive tape, paint, etc.
Some of these reactions rarely occur and thus are ignored in many cases. This can be life threatening too. Therefore you need to be very cautious while you notice even the single or a smaller symptom, report to your doctor.