Natural rubber latex is made from a milky fluid found in rubber trees. When you are allergic to latex, your body treats the proteins found in latex like a harmful substance that it needs to fight.
Reactions may be as simple as a skin irritation or a rash, or as serious as going into anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening condition that should always receive immediate medical care.
If you have a latex allergy, you could have a reaction when you come into direct contact with latex, or by inhaling latex particles when latex is used in your presence. Not all latex products are made from natural sources (such as latex paint), so these products are unlikely to cause a reaction in an allergic person.
Also, you may have a reaction to the chemicals used in manufacturing latex gloves, and this is not an allergic reaction to latex itself.
There are certain factors that make a person at a higher risk for having a latex allergy. These include having spina bifida, experiencing frequent, repeated exposure to latex (from receiving a high rate of medical care yourself, to being a healthcare worker, to working in a plant where it’s produced), having other allergies, and having a family history of a latex allergy.
If you have a latex allergy you have a higher chance of being allergic to certain foods that contain similar allergens as latex. These include kiwi and passion fruit, avocados, bananas and chestnuts.
At Bluegrass Allergy Care, we can determine if you have a true latex allergy or if you are having an allergic reaction to some other substance and help you manage your symptoms. Call us today to schedule an appointment.