How Is Latex Allergy Treated

Latex allergy is a medical term that comprises of a range of allergic reactions attributed to rubber latex. Latex is a light milky fluid that is extracted from the rubber tree. This raw fluid then goes through a manufacturing process that transforms it into a latex mixture. The increasing use of latex among people from all over the world has led to a rise in latex allergy incidence through the years.

People at Risk

Latex allergy may be a reaction of the body to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex. Products containing latex and how they are manufactured have helped give rise to people experiencing allergic reactions. There are people born allergic to latex. But repeated exposure to latex may also help develop a person’s allergic reaction to it. The more that a person is exposed to products with latex, the risk of developing latex allergy also increases.

There also seems to be other allergies associated with a person having latex allergy. People having an allergic reaction to allergy also seem to be allergic to bananas as well as other fruits such as papaya, avocados, and apricots. Although studies have shown about the association of food allergies to latex allergy, the actual cause of this relationship remains unknown.

Causes and Symptoms

Latex allergy happens when the body’s immune system identifies latex as a threat substance. Contact with latex then triggers the immune system to produce antibodies in certain cells to try and fight off the supposed threat. The next time the body comes into contact with latex, the antibodies then will be able to sense it and signal the immune system to release threat fighting chemicals like histamine into the bloodstream.

The allergic reaction of the body to latex may either be due to latex that remains on the skin due to sweat or rubbing while using latex gloves. The type of irritation or rash that occurs is called irritant contact dermatitis. This type of reaction is characterized by skin appearing red, dry and cracked.

Other allergic reactions are caused by a mix of latex with other chemical additives during the manufacturing process. These chemicals may cause allergic contact dermatitis characterized by a skin rash that develops one or two days after contact with latex. The rash may then spread to other areas and may develop also oozing blisters. Inhalation of latex may induce an immune system response that may cause allergic reactions such as itching, sneezing, redness ans swelling.

Treatment

Currently there is no known medication that will cure one of latex allergy. What medications that are available only help to reduce the symptoms that latex allergy may induce. The best treatment for latex allergy remains to be prevention by avoiding products containing latex. For emergency cases, an adrenaline injection is usually used to treat a severe latex allergy. Less severe allergic reactions to latex can be treated by antihistamines or by using skin creams that help relieve skin reactions due to contact with latex.