If you have a latex allergy, your skin or mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose, or other moist areas), or blood react when latex touches them. A severe latex allergy can affect breathing and cause other serious problems.
Latex is made from the sap of rubber trees. It is very strong and stretchy. Because of this, it is used in a lot of common household items and toys.
Below is a list of items that may contain latex. Other items that are not on this list could also contain latex.
You may develop a latex allergy if you are allergic to foods that have the same proteins that are in latex. These foods are:
Some other foods that are less strongly linked with latex allergy are kiwi, peaches, nectarines, celery, melons, tomatoes, papayas, figs, potatoes, apples, and carrots.
Latex allergy is diagnosed by how you have reacted to latex in the past. If you developed a rash or other symptoms after contact with latex, you may be allergic to latex. Your health care provider can use allergy skin testing to see if you have a latex allergy.
A blood test can also be done. This may help your doctor tell whether you are allergic to latex.
Always notify any, doctor, nurse, dentist, or person who draws blood that you have concerns about a latex allergy.
More and more, people wear gloves in the workplace and elsewhere to protect their hands and avoid germs. These tips can help you avoid latex:
Carry a pair of vinyl or other non-latex gloves with you and have more at home. Wear them when you handle items that:
Your health care provider may prescribe epinephrine if you are at risk for a severe allergic reaction to latex.
This medicine is injected. It slows down or stops allergic reactions.
Carry this medicine with you if you have had a severe reaction to latex in the past.
Call your health care provider if you think you may be allergic to latex. It is easier to diagnose a
latex allergy when you are having a reaction. Some symptoms of latex allergy are:
If a severe allergic reaction occurs, call 9-1-1 right away. Some of these symptoms are:
Latex products; Latex allergy; Latex sensitivity
Pien LC. Allergy and immunology. In: Cary WD, ed. Current Clinical Medicine. 2nd Ed. Cleveland Clinic. 2010.
Updated by: Stuart I. Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Georgetown University Medical School. Also reviewed by Stuart I. Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Georgetown University Medical School.
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