Latex is a milky fluid that comes from the tropical rubber tree. Hundreds of everyday products contain latex. Repeated exposure to a protein in natural latex can make you more likely to develop a latex allergy. If your immune system detects the protein, a reaction can start in minutes. You could get a rash or asthma. In rare cases you could have a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.
Your doctor may use a physical exam and skin and blood tests to diagnose it. There are medicines to treat a reaction, but it is best to try to avoid latex. Common latex products include
- Rubber bands
- Shoe soles
You can find latex-free versions of these products.
- Allergy Blood Test (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Anaphylaxis (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Home Healthcare Workers: How to Prevent Latex Allergies (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Latex allergies - for hospital patients (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Latex Allergy (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Latex Allergy: A Prevention Guide (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
- Managing latex allergies at home (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish