Latex allergy or rubber allergy is a very rare allergy that can have severe symptoms too. Here are the causes, signs and treatment for the same.
Latex allergy is a type of allergic reaction that is very rare. Basically, natural rubber is a product extracted from the rubber tree. However, some people have an allergy to latex and can prove to be very harmful for your body. These rubber trees are mostly found in Africa and Southeast Asia. The proteins present in it make a person allergic to latex. Generally, an allergy occurs if your immune system gives a negative reaction to a normal harmless substance thinking of it as if it were a virus or bacteria. Then, antibodies and chemicals are released in the body that can cause an inflammatory response, resulting in an allergic reaction. The type of allergic reaction from latex can vary from being mild to severe. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr Neha Dubey, MD Medical & Cosmetic Dermatologist, Meddo Meraki Skin Clinic, Gurgaon, about latex allergy. She said, "Natural rubber latex should not be confused with synthetic rubber made from chemicals. Synthetic rubber products, including “latex” house paints, are not made with natural latex and do not trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to products made with natural rubber latex." In this article, you will get to know about the causes, symptoms and treatment of latex or rubber allergy.
Causes of latex allergy
You should know about the sources of latex or rubber that are causing an allergic reaction on your body. There are many triggers that can cause latex allergy. Latex is a very common element that is also found in many medical and dental supplies too. Direct contact with some things can also become a cause. However, Dr Neha Dubey said, "Direct physical contact with latex products is not needed to trigger an allergic reaction. Severe reactions like anaphylaxis have been caused by inhaling latex proteins in the air resulting from the powder in the latex glove." The products that have this component include disposable gloves, dental dams, airway and intravenous tubing, syringes, stethoscopes, catheters, dressings and bandages. Latex also is found in many consumer products. These include condoms, handbags, balloons, athletic shoes, tires, rubber toys, baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers. Other than this, allergies caused due to jewellery are common too.
Symptoms of latex allergy
The symptoms of this type of allergy are recognisable. There are various triggers that easily show a latex allergic reaction. Here are some signs or symptoms of latex allergy:
- Chest tightness
- Running nose
- Difficulty in breathing (Tips to manage asthma)
- Anaphylaxis, i.e. a severe allergic reaction causing severe breathing difficulty or drop in blood pressure levels
Also Read: Tips To Spot An Allergy Attack
How to cure latex allergy?
One should immediately visit the doctor, if he/she is having a latex allergy. It is generally diagnosed by taking an allergic blood test. According to Dr. Neha Dubey, "Diagnosis of Latex allergy is possible by a comprehensive allergy test which is a blood test. Management involves avoidance of products containing latex and anti allergic." To prevent latex allergy, one should avoid coming in direct contact with the rubber products and avoid consuming the triggering food items.
These were the self-diagnosable symptoms, causes and ways to treat latex allergy. To prevent the signs of this allergy, one has to avoid the exposure as much as possible. The best way to treat an allergic reaction is to contact an allergist as soon as possible.
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