Treating Latex Allergy
What Is Latex Allergy?
- Disposable gloves
- Rubber bands
- Adhesive tape and bandages
- Baby bottle nipples
- Rubber aprons
Reactions to Latex
- Red skin
- Runny nose
- Trouble breathing
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Chest tightness
Who Is at Risk for Latex Allergy?
- Healthcare workers who frequently use latex gloves and latex-containing medical supplies, especially those healthcare workers who already have hay fever or other allergic conditions
- Workers who occasionally use latex gloves, such as law enforcement personnel, ambulance attendants, fire fighters, housekeepers, etc.
- People with spina bifida, probably because of multiple surgeries and other procedures
- Individuals who have had multiple surgical or medical procedures during childhood
- Workers in factories where latex products are manufactured or used
- People with a tendency to have multiple allergic conditions
- People who are allergic to certain foods, such as avocado, bananas, chestnuts, kiwifruit, papaya, potatoes, and tomatoes
If You Have a Latex Allergy
- Avoid direct contact with latex. Try to find out which products in your environment contain latex and look for substitutes.
- If you need to wear gloves, use non-latex gloves.
- If you must use latex gloves to avoid contamination, use powder-free gloves with reduced protein content.
- Avoid areas where you might inhale powder from latex gloves.
- If you are a healthcare worker or patient, everyone around you should wear non-latex gloves.
- Be sure to tell your employer and all your healthcare providers that you have a latex allergy.
- Always wear a medical alert bracelet. Talk to your doctor about getting an epinephrine self-injection pen, for use in case of a serious reaction.
- Be cautious or avoid eating foods with known cross-reactivity in people with latex allergy, such as kiwi, avocado, bananas, and chestnuts.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health http://www.cdc.gov/niosh
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety http://www.ccohs.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Contact dermatitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 13, 2012. Accessed July 11, 2012.
Latex allergy. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80(12):1419-1420. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/1215/p1419.html.
Latex allergy. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health website. Available at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/latexallergy/index.html. Accessed July 11, 2012.
Latex allergy: tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/Library/At-a-Glance/Latex-Allergy.aspx. Accessed July 11, 2012.
Latex (natural rubber) allergy in spina bifida. Spina Bifida Association of America website. Available at: http://www.spinabifidaassociation.org/site/c.liKWL7PLLrF/b.2700271/k.1779/Latex%5FNatural%5FRubber%5FAllergy%5Fin%5FSpina%5FBifida.htm. Accessed July 11, 2012.
Pollart S, Warniment C, et al. Latex allergy. Amer Fam Physician. 2009;80(12):1413-1418.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/11/2012 -