8 Important Facts about the Dangers of Latex Material

Latex is one of the most common materials used in clothing. It is usually utilized to manufacture specific clothing types like bodysuits and leotards as well as other garments like gloves and stockings.

Latex is also used for other items like erasers, condoms, pacifiers, carpet backing, Koosh balls and even buttons on remote controls. Other products include handbags, shoes and other related accessories.

Dangers of Latex

Most people think that latex is just another material for clothes but unfortunately, it is also one of the most common causes for clothing related allergies. Here are important facts about latex and dangers surrounding it:

1. The number of latex-sensitive individuals is increasing.
Recent studies have shown that more and more people are becoming latex-sensitive, even regular individuals who are not always exposed to the material. Latex allergy is most common among workers in the health and medical field because of their constant use or exposure to related products like latex gloves. A medical practitioner who is allergic to latex will surely have a hard time performing tasks unless they take precautions.

2. Symptoms are similar to other medical conditions.
The first and most common symptom of latex allergy is the appearance of a rash in the affected area. Many people may misdiagnose this reaction and associate it with other conditions. The same applies to other symptoms like sneezing, runny nose or swollen and itchy eyes. Hence, it may result to improper treatment and medication. Some patients have reported more serious symptoms such as wheezing, tightness of breath and coughing which are similar to symptoms of asthma.

3. Allergy towards natural rubber latex vs chemicals used.
If you suspect having latex allergy, then the next best step is to consult your physician so they can run a latex skin prick test. Your doctor may also perform other skin tests to diagnose if you are allergic to natural rubber latex or to the chemicals that are added to the product.

4. Allergic contact dermatitis.
In relation to chemicals, another form of allergy is called allergic contact dermatitis. It is caused by chemicals found in rubber gloves. Blisters and eczema are usually found in the affected area and it normally looks like a poison ivy rash.
It is best to consult a physician right away to make sure that proper diagnosis and treatment will be conducted for contact dermatitis or other conditions mentioned above.

5. Risk Factors.
Apart from medical or health workers, industry workers or people who are regularly exposed to natural rubber latex can also develop an allergic reaction to this material. People who have undergone multiple surgeries or children who have spina bifida are also susceptible to latex allergy.

6. Latex allergy can be fatal.
Allergic reactions to latex can actually get worse especially if the patient does not take any medication or exercise precaution. Allergic reactions to latex can be very serious and fatal too.  

7. Continued exposure effects.
The best way to prevent the allergies from happening or worsening is to stay away from products that are made of latex components. Continued exposure to latex and its similar components can lead to a more serious problem and may even cause the patient to suffer from asthma.

8. Anaphylactic shock.
While the symptoms can be prevented, there are serious instances wherein the problem can become deadly, especially if the patient is not careful or does not heed doctor’s recommendations.

This serious allergic reaction is called anaphylactic shock and can happen within minutes of exposure. In cases like this, the patient must be immediately treated with an adrenalin injection to prevent further complications.

Direct contact with latex can cause anaphylactic shock especially if the patient is extremely allergic to the material itself. Direct contact happens when the skin barrier has been compromised or when the contact is across the mucous membrane (mouth, vagina or urethra).

TAKEAWAY: As always, prevention is still better than cure. So once you start experiencing the first signs of a latex allergic reaction, the best defense is to keep away from products which trigger the allergy and consult your doctor right away for further testing if need be.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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Renee Dixon

Renee Dixon said:

Hi Jane, You sound very knowledgeable about latex allergy. I have been diagnosed with latex allergy and worked in an OR. Please contact me via email so we can discuss this topic. Your comment reads exactly the way I am trying to get others to understand how serious latex allergy is for patients, medical professionals and their families, and so many others. Thank you for your time in advance.

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