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Latex Allergy

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Summary

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

  • Gloves
  • Condoms
  • Balloons
  • Rubber bands
  • Shoe soles
  • Pacifiers

You can find latex-free versions of these products.

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Prevention and Risk Factors

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  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)

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