Latex Contact Dermatitis
Preventing Latex Contact Dermatitis
Latex contact dermatitis is your body's adverse reaction to some proteins that are found in natural rubber latex.
Latex is a product artificially made with a milky fluid from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), which can be found in Southeast Asia and Africa.
If you have a latex contact dermatitis, what basically happens is that your body mistakes latex material for a harmful substance.
Latex contact dermatitis can cause you allergic reactions varying from sneezing, to having runny nose, and then to anaphylaxis, which is a potentially fatal condition.
You can consult your doctor to know if you already have latex contact dermatitis, or if the risk is big for you to develop it.
Understanding latex contact dermatitis and being familiar with frequent sources of latex would be your stepping stone in preventing allergic reactions.
How To Trigger Latex Allergy
You can trigger your latex allergy basically in two ways. First is by direct contact, which is the most common origin of latex allergy. Direct contact like wearing latex gloves and being in contact with other products containing latex, would be enough to start your allergy.
The second way is through inhalation. You can trigger latex allergy by simply inhaling latex particles in the environment around you. Some latex products, most especially gloves, usually shed great quantity of latex particles, which become airborne.
Some of the most common used latex products that can be found almost everywhere, especially at home are carpeting, dishwashing gloves, clothing waistbands, hot water bottles, rubber toys, balloons, disposable diapers, diaphragms, baby bottle nipples, rubber bands, condoms, erasers, racket handles, swimming goggles, sanitary pads, bicycle and motorcycle handgrips.
What You Can Do
You can prevent triggering latex reaction by reducing your exposure to the said materials. You should limit carefully the latex products that you have in contact with. Most latex products have alternatives that carry the same function, minus the latex component
If you come in contact with latex in work, you should discuss your condition with your employer. Also, when you are somewhere inside a healthcare institution, you should inform those health professionals you come in contact with, like doctors, nurses, therapists and such, that you are allergic to latex, because most gloves in hospitals are made out of latex.
Talking to your doctor would be the best way to prevent the trigger of your latex allergy. Your doctor might be able to propose other ways that you can avoid latex contact in your everyday life.
You can also ask your doctor about emergency medication just in case you suddenly have a severe latex allergy incident.
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