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Latex Allergy

The latex base material of natural rubber products is extracted from the sap of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis tropical.
Latex allergy is on the rise especially among the health personnel who frequently use rubber gloves (latex). But we also find this type of allergy in the rubber industry, laboratories, hair salons or dry cleaners.

Clinically, the female preponderance is clear. Clinical manifestations may be:
immediate (approximately 20 minutes after contact with latex) type of redness, itching, difficulty breathing, conjunctival redness and sometimes even shock can be fatal.
or delayed after 48h as allergic contact dermatitis.
A food allergy is sometimes associated with pineapple, avocado, banana, chestnut, fig, potato, kiwi, mango, melon, papaya, passion fruit, peach, spinach and tomato.
Many everyday items contain latex:
Gloves, ventilation equipment, respiratory masks, bags, tubing, valves, endotracheal tubes, nasal and oropharyngeal swabs, drains, tires, seals carpets, doors, windows, bath mats, mattresses, insulation types, electric cables balls, elastic bandages, boots, shoes, clothing fasteners, household gloves, adhesive tapes, adhesives scrubs, stockings, condoms, balloons, air mattresses, rubber handles, vehicles, inflatables, gloves (hairdressers and beauticians), artificial sponges, diving articles, stretchable fabrics, sneakers, thermos bottles, packing material.
The diagnosis, based on skin prick tests are sensitive and specific. Can be completed by the research of specific IgE to latex.
Prick test sensitivity is higher than that of the search for specific IgE.



Acute urticaria following contact with the latex .


Positive prick tests to latex

When there is a delayed reaction to patch tests are required for diagnosis.

Eviction is an essential measure.
• Wearing a card stating allergic to latex allergy is very useful.
• An emergency kit containing antihistamines, corticosteroids, and epinephrine is prescribed in severe cases.
• A latex-free environment is essential especially in an operating theater before surgery (only non-latex gloves must be worn).

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