How Can You Tell That You Have Latex Allergy? | Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

When the symptoms appear acutely, soon after having obvious contact with latex, gloves or balloons for example, it is easy to suspect latex allergy. It should also be considered in people who have had suspicious

When the symptoms appear acutely, soon after having obvious contact with latex, gloves or balloons for example, it is easy to suspect latex allergy. It should also be considered in people who have had suspicious symptoms in surgical interventions or in the dentist, since there may be confusion with allergy to anesthetics.

  • It should be studied in people with chronic symptoms of asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, urticarial and edema, and who is part of the risk groups, by occupational exposure or by frequent interventions.

It should also be taken into account in people with chronic symptoms, who do not belong to risk groups, but in whom the cause of their symptoms is not identified. It should also be suspected in people who have allergies to some foods that may have cross-reactivity with latex. You need to know more Symptoms of latex allergy also.

However, if you don’t have one, you should try using latex suits. You can buy more at

What foods cross-react with latex?

Some foods have components similar to those of latex, and you can have cross reactions. This means that the person with a known allergy to latex can begin to have symptoms when eating those foods, and vice versa, that a person allergic to those foods can start later with reactions to latex.

The most frequent foods are banana, chestnut, kiwi and avocado. Less frequent are apricot, passion fruit, mango, peach, melon, papaya, potato, pineapple, tomato, peanut and figs.

Not all patients are cross-reactive, so many can eat all kinds of foods. This reactivity is more frequent in adults than in children. You should consult with the specialist in each specific case.

It is not a food, but it is good to know that you can also have cross reactivity with the sap of the Focus, used as indoor and outdoor plants.

How is latex allergy studied?

Like the rest of allergies, with skin tests, blood tests and provocation tests. More details are given in the section on Allergy Study.

What is the treatment of latex allergy?

As in other allergies, three types of treatment should be considered: rescue treatment of acute symptoms, preventive treatment, and etiologic or cause treatment.

For more detailed info, try to see this article.

What is the rescue treatment for latex allergy?

It depends on the symptoms: antihistamines for rhinitis, conjunctivitis, urticarial and edema or inflammation; bronchodilators for asthma; for anaphylaxis symptoms, adrenaline should be used. These treatments are used for all allergic reactions, whatever the cause.

People with severe symptoms due to latex allergy should always carry rescue treatment, to be used at any time.

Who should do the preventive treatment of latex allergy?

  • It must be done by people who are in three situations.
  • First, people who have already had latex symptoms, which are allergic, so they do not have symptoms again.
  • Second, people who already have antibodies but have not had symptoms, which are sensitized, can go further and start with symptoms.
  • Third, people who do not have antibodies, but who are from a very high risk group. Here we include people with the alterations mentioned above, who will need many operations, and prevention must be done from the first moments.

What is the preventive treatment of latex allergy?

The preventive treatment consists of avoiding direct and indirect contact with latex. There are some precautions that should be extreme the more severe the allergy that is suffered. These recommendations should be followed everywhere: home, schools (giving notice of risk) and work centers, sports activities, restaurants, and especially to warn in medical centers and dentists.

Allergists must learn to recognize latex objects to avoid them, and use alternative objects. As examples we can mention:

  • Avoid latex balloons. Alternative: metallic or Mylar balloons.
  • Do not wear latex gloves. There are vinyl, nitrile or neoprene gloves, for domestic use and for industrial use.
  • Do not use pacifiers or latex teats, but silicone.
  • Do not use latex condoms, but resins or polyurethane.
  • Do not wear caps, swim goggles, etc., latex, but silicone.
  • Do not use rubber toys, but plastic or other materials.
  • Find out if people who have handled food have done it with latex gloves. There is a regulation on the use of latex gloves in the food industry.
  • Although it is not proven that they give problems, it is convenient to avoid mattresses and latex pillows.
  • Avoid contact with all objects with latex. If one has touched, it is prudent to wash your hands with plenty of water.

What is the preventive treatment in health centers?

Since these centers are places of risk for those allergic to latex, you should always notify when you go to any primary care center, hospital, private practice or dentist’s clinic.

There are latex gloves with little allergic load and without dust, but the use of gloves without latex is recommended. There are non-sterile vinyl or nitrile gloves. If sterile gloves are required, there are several isoprenes, elastirene, butadiene or other plastic polymers.

There are probes, catheters, tubes, syringes, masks, etc., without latex. In the most advanced medical centers, operating theaters, exploration and technical rooms, and latex-free rooms are enabled. Even in some places they try to get the entire hospital free of latex.

What can the latex allergic person do to protect themselves?

You must let people in your environment know that you can react with latex, by direct or indirect contact. If you have had severe reactions, you should carry rescue medication, including adrenaline, and know how to use it. It is convenient to bring a medal or bracelet to report your allergy. It is advisable to have gloves without latex, because you may need urgent assistance in a health center where they do not have this type of gloves.

What can be done if urgent care with latex is necessary?

If a medical or surgical procedure cannot be delayed and latex-free material is not available, pretreatment with antihistamines and corticosteroids can be used. They can be administered by mouth or better injected, ideally every 12 hours from 24 hours before. If there is not so much time, it will be done as far in advance as possible. This pretreatment does not guarantee that the symptoms are avoided, so you must be prepared to treat them and the benefits and risks of using latex against the risks of waiting should be valued very well.

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