Typically, a latex allergy develops after repeated exposure. Latex allergy is one of the leading occupational allergies. An estimated eight to twelve percent of healthcare workers are sensitive to latex. Latex gloves are the primary culprit.
Parents, healthcare workers, medical personnel, dentist Melbourne, or indeed anyone who is exposed to products containing latex, need to be aware of the possible risks of developing an allergic reaction.
Other professionals who wear latex gloves, such as the police, paramedics and the emergency services, or anyone who needs to treat the public, must also understand the dangers of latex.
Latex Allergy and Sensitivity Symptoms
Latex allergy can develop at any age or under any circumstances. Symptoms can appear as early as seven to ten days from first contact. Once a sensitivity to latex has developed, a reaction can occur rapidly.
Most reactions associated with latex allergy or sensitivity are skin reactions. Contact dermatitis, or a rash, will develop over a period of hours or days. Contact dermatitis is common among latex glove wearers. The dermatitis can range from a mild rash to cracked skin. In many cases, the contact dermatitis occurs isn’t due to the latex gloves at all, but to the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
For those with a true latex allergy, symptoms occur within minutes. Contact dermatitis or generalized dermatitis (a rash that affects areas that did not come into contact with the latex) can occur. Anaphylaxis doesn’t require long-term exposure to latex gloves or other latex products. Anaphylaxis can occur in people who have had even minimal previous documented exposure to latex.
Latex Allergy and Asthma
For asthmatics with a latex allergy, contact with latex can cause both contact dermatitis reaction and an asthma attack. Something as simple as snapping on a pair of latex gloves and sending a shower of powder through the air is sufficient to trigger an asthma attack in sensitive individuals.
Other common encounters include blowing up a latex balloon or receiving treatment from a dentist or medical practitioner wearing latex gloves. Condoms could also be a potential source of exposure.
If a dental assistant, emergency room nurse, police officer or food handler approaches you wearing gloves, you have the right to know what they are made of. Gloves made of other synthetic and non-reactive materials are available. So are non-latex balloons and condoms.
What is Natural Latex Rubber?
Derived from the Hevea brasiliensis tree that grows in Southeast Asia and Africa, natural latex rubber is not to be confused with petroleum-based synthetic rubbers know as butyl. Synthetic products do not normally trigger an allergic reaction in people with latex allergy or sensitivity.