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Happy start to the WINTER HOLIDAY SEASON! Dr. Bernabe would like to discuss Latex allergy in light of the upcoming season due to gift giving, decorations, and ornamental plants such as poinsettia.
Latex allergy is a reaction to proteins in rubber tree sap, the milky fluid used to manufacture more than 40,000 products available worldwide. Symptoms range from mild skin irritation to life-threatening anaphylaxis, and there’s no way to predict which will occur if exposed.
Latex allergy is rare, affecting approximately 3 million people in the United States. Latex is common in hospitals, doctor and dentist offices, emergency departments and ambulances, although many have switched to latex-safe gloves and medical instruments. About 8-12 percent of people with latex allergy are healthcare workers. People who undergo multiple surgeries – such as spina bifida patients – are at increased risk.
Latex can also be found in everyday items such as rubber bands, bandages, mouse pads, bath mats, garden hoses, rubber balls and toys, sports equipment, balloons, and baby pacifiers.
The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid latex. Allergy & Asthma Care can help you and your family navigate this allergy. For more information from the American Latex Allergy Association please visit latex allergy resources.