Latex Allergy

  • Medical Author:
    Allison Ramsey, MD

    Dr. Allison Ramsey earned her undergraduate degree at Colgate University and her medical degree at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She completed her internal medicine training at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and remained at the university to complete her fellowship training in allergy and clinical immunology. Dr. Ramsey is board certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology. Her professional interests include the treatment of drug allergy and eosinophilic disorders. She also enjoys teaching medical trainees. She is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the New York State Allergy Society, and the Finger Lakes Allergy Society. In her personal life, her interests include exercise, especially running and horseback riding; and spending time with her husband and two children.

  • Medical Author: Syed Shahzad Mustafa, MD
    Syed Shahzad Mustafa, MD

    After growing up in the Rochester area, Dr. Mustafa pursued his undergraduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and attended medical school at SUNY Buffalo. He then completed his internal medicine training at the University of Colorado and stayed in Denver to complete his fellowship training in allergy and clinical immunology at the University of Colorado, National Jewish Health, and Children's Hospital of Denver.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/29/2016

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