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Latex Allergies: What You Need to Know

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Published on Jan 10, 2013

Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins in latex rubber. The amount of latex exposure needed to produce sensitization or an allergic reaction is unclear, but it appears that increasing the exposure to latex proteins increases the risk of developing allergic symptoms.

In sensitized individuals, symptoms usually begin within minutes of exposure; but they can occur hours later and can be quite varied. Mild reactions to latex involve skin redness, rash, hives, or itching. More severe reactions may involve respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and asthma. Rarely, shock may occur; however, a life-threatening reaction is seldom the first sign of a latex allergy.

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