Latex allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system that can happen in some people when they come in contact with this material, which is a substance that is present in materials made of rubber, such as gloves, balloons or condoms, for example, causing changes on the skin of the region of the body that came into contact with the material.
A simple way to test if you are allergic to latex is to cut a finger off a latex glove and then put that piece of the glove on your finger for about 30 minutes. After that time, it should be noted whether any of the typical allergy symptoms have appeared, such as redness and swelling.
When you are allergic to latex, the ideal is to avoid prolonged contact with objects that are made of this type of material.
Main symptoms of allergy
Symptoms of latex allergy in most cases are felt at the site of the skin that has been in direct contact with the product. Thus, some symptoms can be:
- Dry and rough skin;
- Itching and redness;
- Swelling of the affected region.
In addition, it is also common for the person with an allergy to have red eyes, a feeling of the irritated nose, and runny nose, due to the allergic reaction that can end up affecting the whole body a little.
Generally, anyone who is allergic to latex is also allergic to foods such as avocado, tomato, kiwi, fig, papaya, papaya, walnut and banana. In addition, it is also common to have allergies to dust, pollen, and animal hair.
How to confirm an allergy
To confirm the diagnosis, in addition to assessing the symptoms and checking the health history, the doctor may also order some blood tests to assess the presence of some specific types of antibodies. Learn more about exams to identify allergies.
Who is more likely to have this allergy?
Anyone can develop latex sensitivity or allergy, but some people are more likely to be nurses and doctors who contact gloves and personal protective equipment with latex every day.
In addition, gardeners, cooks, beauty and construction professionals also often come into contact with this material and therefore are also more likely to develop the problem.
What to do if you are allergic to latex?
People with a latex allergy should, whenever possible, avoid contact with this type of material, especially for long periods, giving preference to equipment that is made of other materials such as polyethylene or polyvinyl gloves, for example. In the case of condoms, you should choose a latex-free condom, which is sold in pharmacies.
In addition, in cases where there is a more severe reaction to latex, the doctor may also prescribe some corticosteroids and antihistamines to relieve symptoms whenever they appear.
Main products with latex
Some products that contain latex and should, therefore, be avoided by those with allergies include:
- Surgical and cleaning gloves;
- Flexible rubber toys;
- Party balloons;
- Bottle nipples;
In addition, some types of sneakers and gym clothes may also contain latex.
The ideal is to always read the label of the products to check if they contain latex. Generally, latex-free products have a label stating they are “latex-free” or “latex-free”