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- Find a local Asthma & Allergy Specialist in your town
- Latex allergy facts
- What is latex and where is it found?
- What caused the rise in latex allergies?
- Who is at risk for developing a latex allergy?
- What are the symptoms and signs of the two forms of latex allergy?
- How do health-care professionals assess and diagnose a latex allergy?
- What is the treatment for a latex allergy?
- Latex-containing products (partial list)
What are the symptoms and signs of the two forms of latex allergy?
Allergy to latex comes in two different forms. One form is called a "delayed hypersensitivity," which is usually seen as an itchy skin rash at the site where the latex product contacts the skin. This rash is similar to poison ivy and is generally self-limited. The other form is an immediate hypersensitivity reaction (also known as an IgE-mediated reaction) to latex. This type of reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can involve the skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, and cardiovascular system.
How do health-care professionals assess and diagnose a latex allergy?
Clinical history is the most important aspect of diagnosing any type of latex allergy. A patch test to latex could potentially be performed to diagnose a delayed hypersensitivity response to latex. For an immediate hypersensitivity response to latex, a blood test is the only approved test presently available. In the United States, there is currently no approved skin testing for an immediate hypersensitivity to latex.