The 'Twacha Clinic'
Latex is a natural rubber made from the milky sap of the Brazilian rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. Latex is used in a wide variety of products including medical gloves and IV tubing. Similar proteins are even found in popular foods.
An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance as if it were an invader, such as a virus or bacteria. A host of antibodies and chemicals including antihistamines are released, racing to the point of invasion where they cause an inflammatory immune response.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, latex allergies affect 1 to 6 percent of Americans. An allergic reaction to latex may range from mild to severe. In some cases, it can even be life-threatening. This article will help you learn more about the signs of a latex allergy and how you can prevent this potentially dangerous condition.
This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.
- Rash may occur within minutes to hours after exposure to a latex product
- Warm, itchy, red wheals at the site of contact that may take on a dry, crusted appearance with repeated exposure to latex
- Airborne latex particles may cause cough, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes
- A severe allergy to latex can cause swelling and difficulty breathing