Latex Allergy

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Latex is a natural rubber that is made from the sap of a plant. Because of this, many other substances within the plant are incorporated into the latex, causing the potential for an allergic reaction to occur.

People that come into contact with latex such as health care professionals are more likely to experience a latex allergy. Symptoms of a latex allergy are the same as a skin allergy.

Common Latex Products

  • Surgical and cleaning gloves
  • Condoms
  • Bottle nipples
  • Pacifiers
  • Plastic toys
  • Lycra clothing
  • Because of the similarities between the proteins of plants, people with latex allergies may also be allergic to certain foods, and vice versa. Avocado, banana, chestnut, kiwi, apple, carrot, celery, melons, papaya, potato, and tomato may cause such a cross reaction.

    Research into a hypoallergenic form of latex is underway using latex derived from a different plant. This is possible because while the polymer properties that create the rubber are still present, the substances that cause the allergic reaction are not.