What Are the Treatments for an Allergic Reaction to Latex?

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  • Written By: S. Reynolds
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 December 2019
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The most common treatments for an allergic reaction to latex are the use of antihistamines and epinephrine to control the symptoms. Latex allergies are histamine reactions that occur when an individual comes into contact with a latex product. Allergy symptoms can include rashes, hives, swelling, breathing difficulties, and skin redness. Avoiding latex items also helps one to stay symptom-free.

People who work in the medical field tend to experience more latex allergies. Latex rubber gloves are always used in hospitals and clinics for their ability to prevent the transmission of diseases. Some people, however, develop skin sensitivity to the rubber after months or years of wearing latex gloves.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to latex might be as minor as itching and redness, or as severe as difficulty breathing. Itchy, red bumps known as hives or urticaria may also occur where latex touched the skin. People who have a history of allergies are prone to developing latex allergies, especially if they are around the product constantly. Factory workers who work with latex are also susceptible to allergic reactions.


As soon as a person starts to experience an allergic reaction to latex, he should immediately wash the area where the rubber touched his skin. Soap and water can eliminate a majority of the latex particles or powder that caused the reaction. Another way to treat a severe latex allergy is to use an epinephrine pen. The pen is stabbed into the thigh of the allergy sufferer as a way to minimize symptoms quickly. It contains a drug that treats anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.

If the allergic reaction only includes minor itching or hives, one can ingest an antihistamine pill or syrup. Some pharmaceuticals that work on hives include loratadine, leukotrine blockers, diphenhydramine, and cetirizine. These drugs are usually in pill form, but one also can find syrups or dissolving strips, which work faster than pills. Additionally, chewed pills will release the medicine sooner than swallowed pills, which dissolve slowly over time.

The best way to reduce latex allergies is to avoid any products that contain the offending ingredient. Rubber gloves, condoms, plastics, and birth control devices are just a few of the items that may contain latex. Since so many products contain this ingredient, it is necessary for someone who has severe allergic reactions to latex to carry an epinephrine pen, antihistamine pills, and a medic-alert bracelet at all times.



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