General Practice 2022

Látex allergy: main symptoms and what to do

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Látex allergy: main symptoms and what to do
Látex allergy: main symptoms and what to do

A latex allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system that can happen in some people when they come into contact with this material, which is a substance that is present in materials made of rubber, such as gloves, balloons or condoms, for example, causing changes in the skin of the region of the body that came into contact with the material.

A simple way to test for a latex allergy is to cut a finger from a latex glove and then put that piece of glove on your finger for about 30 minutes. After that time, it should be observed if some of the typical allergy symptoms have appeared, such as redness and swelling.

When you are allergic to latex, the ideal is to avoid prolonged contact with objects made of this type of material.

Key symptoms of allergy

The symptoms of latex allergy in most cases are felt at the skin site that was in direct contact with the product. In this way, some symptoms may be:

  • Dry and rough skin;
  • Itching and redness;
  • Swelling of the affected region.

Furthermore, it is also common for people with allergies to have reddened eyes, an irritated nose and a runny nose, due to the allergic reaction that can affect the whole body a little.

Generally, people who are allergic to latex are also allergic to foods such as avocado, tomato, kiwi, fig, papaya, walnut and banana. In addition, it is also common to have allergies to dust, pollen and animal hair.

What to do if you are allergic to latex?

People with latex allergies should, whenever possible, avoid contact with this type of material, especially for long periods, giving preference to equipment made of other materials such as polyethylene or polyvinyl gloves, for example.In the case of condoms, you should opt for a latex-free condom, which is sold in pharmacies.

In addition, in cases where there is a more severe reaction to latex, the doctor may also prescribe some corticosteroids and antihistamines to relieve symptoms whenever they appear.

How to confirm allergy

To confirm the diagnosis, in addition to evaluating the symptoms and checking the he alth history, the doctor may also order some blood tests to evaluate the presence of some specific types of antibodies. Learn more about testing for allergies.

Who is more likely to have this allergy?

Anyone can develop sensitivity or allergy to latex, however some people have a greater chance such as nurses and doctors who contact daily in gloves and personal protective material made with latex.

Furthermore, gardeners, cooks, beauty professionals and construction professionals also frequently come into contact with this material and therefore have a greater chance of developing the problem.

Top products with latex

Some products that contain latex and therefore should be avoided by those with allergies include:

  • Surgical and cleaning gloves;
  • Toys with flexible rubber;
  • Party balloons;
  • Condoms;
  • Bottle nipples;
  • Dummy.

In addition, some types of sneakers and gym clothes may also contain latex.

The ideal is to always read the product label to check if they contain latex. Generally, latex-free products have a label stating that they are "latex free" or "latex free"

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