This document is for information only. We are not experts at Allergies, nor are we doctors (who can help with your itch) nor lawyers which may be the cause of your itch. If there are questions about latex allergies especially related to your own potential risk factors please seek qualified medical advice (and by qualified we do not mean this document, some website nor some dude in a chat room or message board)
Latex Allergy Definitions
Type I (immediate-type) hypersensitivity Natural Rubber Latex Allergy (NRL) is an IgE-mediated, immediate type hypersensitivity reaction to one or more proteins in natural rubber latex (Hevea brasiliensis). Histamine is release causing symptoms. This reaction is systemic.
Type IV (delayed-type) hypersensitivity is a T cell-mediated, delayed response, and typically occurs 48 to 96 hours after exposure. This is frequently a reaction to the processing chemicals used in manufacturing natural rubber latex (NRL). Not the latex itself. This reaction is generally localized to the area of contact. This reaction is also referred to as allergic contact dermatitis, T-cell-mediated allergy, or chemical allergy.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis is a non-allergic reaction. Symptoms typically are dry, irritated, and/or fissured lesions - This is the most common reaction.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and can include one or more of the following:
If exposure to latex continues, allergy symptoms may include a severe and life threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If you are wearing latex for the first time and start to have any of the above symptoms, you need to remove the garment, shower or bath and seek medical attention promptly
The current statistics for people sensitized to natural rubber latex are broken down by risk groups and are as follows: 8-17% of health care workers Up to 68% of children with spina bifida (related to frequent surgeries - anyone who has multiple surgeries is at risk) Less than 1% of the general population in the U.S. (about 3 million people) Source
Am I at risk for a latex allergy?
There are some associated food allergies and other common material allergies, if you are allergic too or have had a previous reaction to one of the following you may also be at a higher risk for a latex allergy.
High associative risk: Banana, Avocado, Chestnut, Kiwi
Moderate associative risk: Apple, Carrot, Celery, Papaya, Potato, Tomato, Melons