Medically reviewed by Drugs. Last updated on Feb 13, A latex allergy is a hypersensitivity to latex, which is a natural substance made of the milky sap of the rubber tree. Latex allergies arise when the immune system, which normally guards the body against bacteria, viruses and toxins, also reacts to latex.
Managing latex allergies at home
Symptoms and Treatments for Latex Allergies
Do you have a known allergy to latex, and testing revealed a positive allergy to food? Or vice versa—are you allergic to certain foods, and your test revealed a positive allergy to latex? If so, there is a simple explanation—it's called cross-reactivity. There are similar proteins in natural rubber latex and certain foods most types of fruit or nuts , so cross-reactivity can occur. This means that if you have a latex allergy, you may experience allergic symptoms to certain foods because those culprit foods have similar proteins to latex. Likewise, if you have an allergy to certain foods, you may experience allergic symptoms when coming into contact with latex. The reactions to these certain foods that occur in people with latex allergy may include symptoms ranging from oral allergy syndrome to life-threatening anaphylaxis —so they are highly variable.
Do you have an allergy to latex? Here's how it may affect your skin
Latex allergy is a medical term encompassing a range of allergic reactions to the proteins present in natural rubber latex. When latex-containing medical devices or supplies come in contact with mucous membranes, the membranes may absorb latex proteins. The immune system of some susceptible individuals produces antibodies that react immunologically with these antigenic proteins. People with latex allergies may also have or develop allergic reactions to some fruits, such as bananas. Natural rubber latex is known to cause allergic reactions of Type I e.
Latex is a stable dispersion emulsion of polymer microparticles in water. It is usually exuded after tissue injury. In most plants, latex is white, but some have yellow, orange, or scarlet latex. Since the 17th century, latex has been used as a term for the fluid substance in plants, deriving from the Latin word for "liquid.