Latex/Spandex

LATEX ALLERGIES

Latex allergies are becoming more and more common as people are exposed to latex with more frequency. A latex allergy can be a very serious problem, and people suffering with latex allergies need to find good latex-free clothing and products to prevent a potentially dangerous latex reaction.

What Is Latex Allergy?
A latex allergy is an immune system response to the natural proteins that are found in latex rubber. Biologically, a latex allergy is much the same as any type of allergy, such as an allergy to food, dust mites, or pollen, with latex being the allergenic substance.

Latex is a very durable, stretchable material with great elasticity; it is also a good barrier and water-proof material. These characteristics make latex a great product for all sorts of products including medical gloves, clothing, toys, household products, and much more. Latex is used freely in common products, and is very difficult to avoid.

A Latex allergy can range from mild to severe. Latex allergy may present as a skin irritation, contact dermatitis, hives, cough, wheezing, swelling or itching. A severe latex allergy may be life-threatening and trigger anaphylactic shock. Latex allergies may develop gradually at first and worsen with each latex exposure. Some people have severe latex allergy reactions from the onset.

The biggest problem with latex allergies is that they develop and worsen with exposure. This is why medical professionals and people who have undergone substantial medical treatment tend to develop latex allergies more than others. (It is important to note, however, that anyone can have a latex allergy.) What this means is that anyone who has a latex allergy must take steps to avoid latex exposure as much as possible—even if the symptoms seem mild at first.

Finding Good Latex-Free Clothing and Products
It is important that a latex allergy never be taken for granted. Continued latex exposure can result in a very serious condition. It is important that latex allergy sufferers find good latex-free product.

SPANDEX ALLERGIES

Living With A Spandex Allergy
To say that life is hard for people suffering with spandex allergies is an understatement. Spandex allergies are rare, and so finding quality alternative products for a person with a spandex allergy can be extremely difficult. And although more and more people are coming to realize and understand that latex allergy is a very real and serious occurrence, far less attention has been paid to spandex allergy.

What Is Spandex?
Spandex is a material that is used primarily in clothing manufacture. It is a man-made product, not a product of nature in any true form, which has its base in chemistry.

Spandex, which is also called Lycra, Lycra spandex, or Elastane, is a synthetic that is comprised of a minimum of 85% polyurethane polymer. Spandex is not a latex-based product, and so is often recommended for people with latex allergies as a clothing replacement.

What Causes Spandex Allergy?
Chemists and medical professionals have had a very difficult time pin-pointing the causes of spandex allergy. Through testing (primarily a process of elimination, such as eliminating latex as the allergy source), they do know that spandex allergy is a real condition. On the other hand, since it is very hard to know what specifically causes the reactions certain people have to spandex, it is easy to confuse with other conditions and hard to know how to treat a spandex allergy.

What Is The Problem With Spandex?
For most people, it seems that the cause of their spandex allergy is something akin to chemical sensitivity. This is a material made from processing chemical agents, which have been shown to be sensitizing and allergy producing; agents that may remain in small quantities in their unreacted, reaction-producing state. This often means that a person’s spandex allergy will go undiagnosed or will not be categorized as a true allergy (which has immune antibodies present in the bloodstream upon exposure).