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Latex Allergy

What causes latex allergy?

A latex allergy is caused by the immune system’s reaction to products containing latex. Common triggers include gloves, paints, balloons, and bandages containing latex. When these objects make contact with the skin, the immune system registers the substance as a threat. Such triggers (allergens) result in the release of histamines which causes allergic symptoms.

There are two main forms of latex allergy that occur: immediate allergic response and delayed-type contact dermatitis.

Immediate Allergic Response:

As the name implies, an immediate allergic response to latex shows symptoms often within minutes after exposure to the allergen. Immediate allergic response occurs in people sensitive to latex through previous contact.

Symptoms of immediate allergic response to latex include:

  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Scratchy or itchy throat
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose

Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction which may occur, resulting in the throat closing along with other severe symptoms. Such symptoms include:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Paling of face and body
  • Rouging of face and body
  • Tightness of chest
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Hoarse throat

If some or any of these symptoms occur, it is critical that correct treatment be administered right away. Anaphylaxis can prove fatal if not addressed quickly and sufficiently. Your allergist or immunologist can help you recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis and prepare you to respond should you, a loved one, or someone nearby experience this allergic reaction.

Delayed Type Contact Dermatitis:

Symptoms of delayed type contact dermatitis do not emerge as quickly as immediate allergic responses. Symptoms may develop 12 to 36 hours after contact with latex. Such symptoms are often annoying, but not life-threating and include:

  • Red marks
  • Scaly skin
  • Itchy skin

If you suffer from latex allergy, Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute can assist in diagnosing what form of latex allergy you suffer from. Give us a call to schedule a test or appointment.

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