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Latex Allergy

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Scottsdale, AZ & Gilbert, AZ

A latex allergy is rare but potentially deadly. It’s important to take latex reactions like skin redness, swelling, and itchiness seriously and see the expert allergists at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD. The team of specialists has a 50-plus year history of helping Arizonans with all their allergy needs. Call one of the locations in Scottsdale or Gilbert, Arizona, or schedule an appointment online.

Latex Allergy Q & A

What is a latex allergy?

A latex allergy means that you're allergic to a component of the sap from the Brazilian rubber tree or to one of the chemicals used in the creation of latex. 

Several commonly used products contain latex, including rubber bands, elastic bandages, rubber gloves, and balloons. Latex allergies can occur when you touch a latex-containing product or when inhaling microscopic latex particles. 

Types of latex allergies include: 

IgE-mediated

An IgE-mediated latex allergy is a protein allergy in which your immune system reacts severely to any latex exposure. This type of latex allergy can be life-threatening.

Cell-mediated contact dermatitis

Cell-mediated contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to latex production chemicals. This latex allergy isn't life-threatening, but it can cause uncomfortable skin reactions a day or two after exposure. 

Irritant contact dermatitis

Technically, irritant contact dermatitis isn't a latex allergy. It's a reaction that features an itchy rash. It's most common among health care workers who regularly wear latex gloves.

Latex allergies can be quite serious, so it’s important to get diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Your body can shift from one type of latex allergy to another. For example, most  IgE-mediated latex allergy sufferers had irritant contact dermatitis first. 

What are the signs of a latex allergy?

A latex allergy can cause symptoms such as:

  • Red skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Swollen skin
  • Hives
  • Nasal symptoms like runny nose or sneezing
  • Red eyes
  • Difficulty breathing

Latex allergies can potentially cause anaphylaxis, a severe whole-body reaction that may include rash, vomiting, breathing problems, chest pain, fainting, and shock. Anaphylaxis can be deadly, so fast reaction time is critical if you suspect a latex allergy.

How are latex allergies treated?

The best protection is knowing as much as possible about your specific type of allergy and then taking precautions recommended by your allergist. The Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD, team helps with every aspect of latex allergies, including testing, diagnosis, education, and treatment. 

Although avoiding latex is essential, you may still have accidental exposure at times. Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or antihistamines for mild-to-moderate reactions. 

If you have life-threatening latex allergies, your doctor may prescribe injectable epinephrine to have with you at all times. 

Don’t risk your life by ignoring latex reactions. The Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD, team is here for you, so call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.