August 12, 2013

Latex Allergy Information

We sometimes have patients who are allergic to the latex gloves we wear.  Latex is a product manufactured from a milky fluid that comes from rubber trees.  The allergy is a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber.  An allergic reaction is your body mistaking latex for a harmful substance, and your immune system responds by producing histamine.  Typical allergic reactions can range from sneezing or runny nose , itchy or watery eyes, scratchy throat, itching or skin redness caused by contact, or hives or a rash.  Fortunately, substituting vinyl gloves for these patients does the trick.  Latex is also found in thousands of consumer products.  Some are dish washing gloves, carpets, clothing waistbands, toys, hot water bottles, baby bottle nipples, disposable diapers, sanitary pads, condoms, diaphragms, swim goggles, racket handles, motorcycle and bicycle handgrips, and erasers.  If allergic to latex, the best thing to do is avoid use of products which contain latex, and find alternatives that you can work with comfortably.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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