Latex allergy is body’s reaction to the substances that are contained in natural or synthetic latex. The repeated exposure to latex may in some people trigger an allergic reaction that can range from mild to severe allergic reaction, including potentially life threatening anaphylactic reactions.
Latex is mainly contained in gloves and condoms. The exposure to latex happens when the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, vagina, and rectum) come in touch with latex gloves or condoms. Also the inhalation of the powder contained in latex gloves and the exposure of blood to medical devices containing latex may trigger latex allergy.
Latex allergy Can Be Distinguished in Three Categories
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
Irritant contact dermatitis is the least severe form of latex allergy. While not a real allergic reaction, contact dermatitis appears due to repeated exposure to chemicals contained in latex gloves resulting in skin dryness, redness, itching, and lesions.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis is a more sever form of dermatitis which occurs delayed and due to exposure to the chemicals in latex. The skin irritation is usually more severe, can spread to the other parts of the body and usually lasts longer.
Immediate Allergic Reaction
The most severe and potentially life threatening form of latex allergy is the immediate allergic reaction. While less common, the symptoms are more severe and can range from severe skin rashes and hives, to tremors, breathing difficulty, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and even death.
If you should experience any of the later, call 911 immediately or got to the next closest emergency room.