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Latex Allergies

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Advanced Allergy & Asthma

Dr. Kumar Patel, MD

Providing Advanced and Personalized Allergy Treatment in over 7 locations in PA, OH and WV!

Latex Allergy Specialist in Seven Fields, PA

Latex is a very strong, durable, and stretchy material that’s often used in medical equipment. Unfortunately, latex can cause an allergic reaction - also called irritant dermatitis - in some patients. If you have a latex allergy, your skin, eyes, mouth, nose will react after coming into contact with latex. Some patients experience a mild allergic reaction, such as redness and swelling. In some severe cases, however, this allergy can cause severe breathing problem.

Dr. Kumar Patel, MD and the team of care professionals at Advanced Allergy & Asthma take pride in their high quality, personalized treatments of allergies. From allergy testing to performing advanced treatments to complicated immune disorders, they perform a wide array of services at Advanced Allergy & Asthma. Dr. Kumar Patel, MD has years of experience as a distinguished board certified immunologist and serve patients all over western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia. Please call us at (724) 224-5440 or request an appointment online to get a consultation!



FAQs on Latex Allergies:

What are the Symptoms of a Latex Allergy?

Early signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to latex include:

  • Swelling of a specific part of the body and/or the body overall
  • Itching around the eyes
  • An itchy nose and/or sneezing
  • Hives or urticaria (i.e. skin rash with red, raised, itchy bumps)
  • Dermatitis (i.e. inflamed skin)

Severe signs and symptoms of this allergy are:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Asthma
  • Hypotension
  • Anaphylactic shock

What are Some Common Latex Products?

Latex is a widely used material. In healthcare, products containing latex include gloves, urinary and intravenous catheters, tape adhesive, intravenous (IV) tubing ports, syringe plungers, IV bag, and medication vial needle ports, masks, and booties, to name a few. At home, latex is found in disposable diapers, toys, condoms, diaphragms, balloons, and carpet padding. Latex is also found in pacifiers, bottle nipples, sneakers, automobile tires, raincoats, boots, and play jewelry.

Who’s at the Greatest Risk of Suffering a Latex Allergic Reaction?

Children with spina bifida (spinal birth defect), latex-industry workers, those who have undergone urinary tract surgery, persons with atopy (genetic tendency to have allergy), patients with preexisting dermatitis, blood donors and individuals with a history of allergies are the most prone to an allergic reaction of this type. Due to the nature of this allergen, however, it can affect anyone, particularly during a hospital visit, if precautions are not taken.

How Do Doctors Test for a Latex Allergy?

Skin prick tests and/or intradermal tests are usually performed to diagnose a latex allergy. Serum blood tests using latex-specific (IgE antibodies) are also done to confirm a systemic reaction. Allergenicity, or a patient’s allergic potential, is also usually assessed to get the size of the reaction.

Is There a Cure for Latex Allergy?

Currently, as with other allergies, there is no cure for latex sensitivity. The only way of decreasing the allergic reactions is to avoid exposure to latex.

How can People Avoid Latex Allergic Reactions?

It’s important for patients with this allergy to take the following actions in the interest of their health:

  • Choose products with a hypoallergenic label.
  • Use non petroleum-based moisturizing agents, especially over cuts or cracks in the skin.
  • Avoid using detergents, alcohol, formaldehyde, and antimicrobial agents (which are in many hand washes or hand rubs) - they may increase latex sensitivity.
  • Use non-latex substitutes, which are usually made of plastic, vinyl, or silicone.
  • Use topical or cotton glove liners to create a barrier as needed. For example, equipment such as stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs should be covered so that they do not touch your skin.
  • Wash your hands immediately after glove use or contact with other latex products.

If you are starting to display some of the symptoms of a latex allergy, please contact Dr. Patel’s offices or request an appointment through the online booking tool.