Latex is found in many common household products but can cause an allergic reaction for some patients. At Silver Falls Dermatology in Oregon and Washington, our providers can help patients manage their latex allergies or treat their symptoms.
What is a Latex Allergy?
A latex allergy is an immune response to proteins found in latex, a natural rubber product. In cases of latex allergies, the body mistakes these proteins for a harmful substance, causing reactions such as swelling, hives or anaphylaxis. Latex allergies may be caused by direct contact or inhalation of particles from products including gloves, condoms or balloons.
Latex Allergy Symptoms
Latex allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some patients may find that their latex allergy reactions worsen with each exposure. An allergic reaction to latex can include the following symptoms:
- Redness in the skin
- Sneezing, couch, or runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Anaphylaxis (Difficulty breathing, wheezing, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and/or loss of consciousness)
Latex Allergy Treatments
Latex allergy treatment can include antihistamines or corticosteroids for less severe reactions. Patients who experience anaphylaxis or other severe reactions may be instructed to carry an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen). All patients with latex allergies should avoid latex products and inform healthcare providers of your allergy to reduce exposure to latex gloves or other materials.