Latex Allergy (cont.)
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How is latex allergy treated?
Avoidance of the provoking agent (allergen), such as latex, is the most effective way to manage any allergy. Latex free synthetic rubber, such as neoprene, nitrile, SBR, Butyl, and Vitron are polymers that are available as alternatives to natural rubber. There are no naturally occurring proteins in them and they are NOT responsible for latex allergy. Labeling is extremely important, but mandatory labeling is currently not required.
Patients who are known to be allergic should avoid any product that might contain latex until the latex content is determined by contacting the manufacturer. Even products labeled "safe latex" (which indicates lower proportions of natural latex) can cause latex allergy. There is no safe latex for latex allergic sufferers. Federal legislation is pending on truth and labeling for latex products. Powderless gloves are a great help in preventing airborne latex and have been very helpful in reducing surgical exposure of latex for the health care worker and the patient. No current treatment is available to desensitize the person allergic to latex. Treatment of reactions includes antihistamines, adrenaline, and steroids.
Latex-Containing Products (partial list):
Band-Aids, rubber bands, erasers, some shoes and articles of clothing, balloons, surgical gloves, catheters, condoms, some items of sporting equipment , blood pressure cuffs, some watch bands, helmets, tooth brush massagers, bowling balls and ventilator tubing.
Medically reviewed by Michael Manning, MD; American Board of Allergy & Immunology
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/8/2015
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