Latex Allergy

Allergic reaction to proteins found in natural rubber latex

The Patient

Rhonda is a dental hygienist who has all of a sudden started experiencing skin problems that have worsened with the length of her career. She has red, itchy, dry, and cracked skin with an addition of watery/itchy eyes, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.

Source of the problem

Health care providers are more at risk for a latex allergy because of their constant use and exposure to latex gloves as well as people who work with natural rubber latex. Also people who have had multiple surgery are more at risk.

Images of How Latex Effects the Skin

Symptoms

  • Skin: itching, redness, hives/rash, dry
  • Nasal: runny nose, sneezing
  • Breathing: coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, asthma
  • Risk of anaphylactic shock

Treatment

  • Steroids: Desonide, Fluocinolone, Hydrocortisone cream
  • Medication: Antihistamine drugs, Prednisone, general allergy medication
  • Injectable epinephrine
  • Stop using latex

Prognosis

As an allergy, this is not curable just manageable. It is not really considered a fatal disorder, however if you go into anaphylactic shock and are unable to seek treatment it could be fatal.

Lifestyle

Living with a latex allergy is similar to living with any other allergy. You have to be very careful what you use to make sure you are not exposed to latex. If you are exposed to latex make sure you are taking precaution and using treatments. Finding what contains latex is very important so you know what to watch out for. For the most part one can still carry on with their normal life but should carry an epipen in case of a severe reaction. For additional information go to http://latexallergyresources.org/. This website shares stories about others struggles with latex allergies and provides a lot of helpful information of how to live with it. It offers latex-free products available for purchase as well.

Works Cited

"Latex Allergy... It's More than Just The gloves!" American Latex Allergy Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Latex Allergy Symptoms." ACAAI. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Latex Allergy." Symptoms. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Learning About Latex Allergies." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.