What are some natural allergy remedies
Some people who are allergic to latex may also be allergic to specific foods — we call this a cross-reaction. In short, the body's immune system responds to a food item, producing the same allergic symptoms as would happen with exposure to latex.
Cross-reactions are not the same for every people.
While some people react to every foods known to cause a cross-reaction (listed below), others may not. In the same way, if someone is allergic to any of the foods listed under, they might also be allergic to latex:
Some fruits — strawberries, pineapple, pears, nectarines, cherries, passionfruit, papaya, melons, grapes, figs, plums, peaches, kiwi, bananas, and apples.
Vegetables — tomatoes, avocados, celery, carrots, and raw potatoes.
Some nuts — hazelnuts and chestnuts.
Some cereals — rye and wheat.
Anybody planning to undergo a medical procedure should tell their doctor if they are allergic to any of these foods.
There is a risk they may own a cross-reaction to latex.
What causes latex allergy?
According to the United States Department of Labor, 8-12 percent of healthcare workers are thought to own a latex allergy, as well as up to 68 percent of every spina bifida patients (due to regular surgical procedures). However, overall, less than 1 percent of the general population is allergic.
Allergic people's immune systems identify latex as a pathogen — a substance or organism that harms health.
The immune system triggers cells in the body to produce antibodies that fight the latex component. The next time the body comes into contact with latex, the antibodies detect it and signal the immune system to release chemicals, including histamine into the bloodstream.
The more a susceptible person is exposed to latex, the greater their immune reaction is likely to be — this is called sensitization.
During manufacturing, latex is often modified.
Sometimes, the product is not thoroughly washed. As a result, more "free" latex is present on the surface. This "free" latex is responsible for a significant proportion of latex allergies.
Free latex easily sticks to the powder that is often used in surgical gloves.
During use, the gloves frequently "snap" when putting them on or taking them off. This snapping sends the powder into the air. Inhaled latex can be a serious allergic problem.
Types of latex allergy
We'll take a glance at the most common types of latex allergy below.
Allergic contact dermatitis
People with allergic contact dermatitis own a delayed skin reaction and a rash after contact with latex.
Signs and symptoms can affect every of the skin, they include:
Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by the additives and chemicals used to process the rubber.
Today, there are tests that determine which chemical(s) the person is allergic to. As soon as they discover out, they can then avoid products that are processed with that chemical.
Latex hypersensitivity (type 1)
This is a serious and rare form of allergy causing a severe immediate reaction that can be life-threatening. Some people with type 1 latex hypersensitivity might also react in a similar way to bee stings.
Symptoms of latex hypersensitivity include:
- severe itching
- conjunctivitis — inflammation of the covering of the white part of the eye
- rhinitis — inflammation and irritation of the inside of the nose
- gastrointestinal problems
Symptoms may progress to:
People who are severely allergic to latex can react to clothes, shoes, and other things that contain natural rubber latex (elastic bands, rubber gloves, condoms, pacifiers, baby-bottle nipples, balloons, cars).
People with this type of allergy are extremely sensitive — a type 1 reaction can be triggered by exposure to airborne particles resulting from blowing up balloons.
This can happen even if the person is not present while the balloons are being inflated.
Irritant contact dermatitis
This is the most common type of reaction and also the mildest. It causes dry, itchy, irritated areas on the skin. Burning and scaling lesions of the skin are most often located on the patient's hands.
The skin becomes irritated after using gloves, frequent hand-washing, incomplete drying, and exposure to hand sanitizers, as well as the talcum powder substance that gloves are coated in.
Who is at risk of developing latex allergy?
Some people are genetically predisposed to be allergic to latex.
However, repeated exposure to latex is necessary for an allergy to develop. People at increased risk include those who are:
- Individuals affected by asthma.
- People with a defect in their bone marrow cells.
- Patients who require regular or continuous urinary catheters with a rubber tip.
- Employees who work distributing or delivering latex products.
- Rubber industry workers.
- Healthcare workers — in healthcare settings, latex is everywhere.
- Those with eczema.
- People who own had multiple surgical procedures, especially in childhood.
- Spinal surgery patients.
- People who work in car tire factories.
- Condom users.
Also, people with allergies own an increased risk; especially those with allergies to plant foods, such as mango, kiwi, avocado, pineapple, banana, chestnuts, strawberry, and passion fruit (see section below: "What is a cross-reaction?").
What is latex?
Latex is a milky sap produced by some plants, including the tropical rubber tree.
It is a mixture of water, sugar, and proteins. Plants generally release latex after they are injured, in the same way that humans bleed following an injury. Plants use latex as a defense against insects.
Natural latex is generally white but can be scarlet, orange, and yellow.
In numerous modern products, latex is synthesized, rather than being taken from natural sources.
Although rubber gloves are the main source of allergic reactions to latex, it is also used in a wide range of products, such as condoms and some medical devices. Latex is used in over 40,000 products with numerous diverse uses.
Diagnosis of latex allergy
The doctor may order a standard allergy patch test, which can determine whether the patient is sensitive to latex and other similar substances.
Grand care needs to be taken when doing this test because, in some cases, patients can own a strong reaction.
The doctor may also order a blood test.
Where is latex found?
Examples of products that may contain latex:
- rubber cement (used in schools and offices)
- rugs and bath mats
- some articles of clothing
- bottle nipples
- dental items, such as dams and orthodontic rubber bands
- IV (intravenous) tubes
- some medical devices
- blood pressure cuffs
- surgical gloves
- ventilator tubing
- rubber bands
- rubber gloves
- teething toys
- elastic waistbands in pants and underwear
- watch bands
Not every brands contain latex.
People with allergies should check the labels, or get in touch with the manufacturer.