Am I Allergic To Latex?
By The Allergy Center, PA
March 25, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Latex Allergy  
Latex AllergyDealing with hives, a raised red itchy rash, in a localized area? If so, your skin certainly came in contact with something it didn’t like. Hives are a common allergic reaction and could be a sign of a latex allergy. Symptoms of a latex allergy range from minor skin irritation to anaphylaxis, a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction that requires emergency medical care. If you suspect that you might have a latex allergy, an allergist can provide you with the answers, diagnosis, and treatment you need.
 
What are the symptoms of a latex allergy?

Hives are usually the most common sign of a latex allergy, but there are other symptoms, including,
  • Flushed skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
If you experience hives in combination with any of these symptoms this could be a sign of a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that will require immediate medical attention.
 
What products contain latex?

Since there is no cure for latex allergy, one of the best things you can do is educate yourself on what products contain latex so you can avoid them. Most people know that disposable gloves often contain latex (which is why it’s important to always tell your doctor that you have a latex allergy before coming into the office). Other products that may contain latex include,
  • Pacifiers
  • Bottle nipples
  • Condoms
  • Some adhesive bandages
  • Spandex
  • Rubber bands
  • Shoe soles
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • The buttons of an ATM
  • Balloons
How do you treat a latex allergy?

While latex might seem like it’s in a lot of everyday things, there are definitely replacements and alternatives. For example, mylar balloons do not contain any latex, unlike their rubber equivalent. Talk with your doctor or any medical practice about your allergy before coming into the office, and also call restaurants or salons to let them know about your allergy. Not sure whether or not a product might contain latex? Check the label. It should tell you.
 
Of course, avoidance is only one part of the treatment process. An allergist may also prescribe medications to alleviate your symptoms. For milder symptoms, an antihistamine may be recommended, while those who deal with severe and dangerous allergic reactions may be prescribed a shot of epinephrine, also known as an EpiPen.
 
If you suspect that you might have a latex allergy or any type of allergy, an allergist will be able to perform the appropriate allergy tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms and how to best manage them.

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