What Is Latex Allergy?
Latex is a milky white substance that is produced by the rubber trees. Latex allergy is the reaction of an individual to a protein found in the milky substance. The body mistakes latex for some harmful substance and reacts against it giving rise to symptoms like red and itching skin, sneezing, running nose, cough, itching in the throat etc.
Natural rubber latex is found in rubber gloves, condoms, balloons, erasers and in certain toys. People who come in contact with these things very often are at risk of suffering from latex allergy.
Latex allergies can be either mild or very severe leading to life threatening reactions in the body known as anaphylaxis. The severity of reaction in the body due to latex allergy increases with increased exposure to latex.
Symptoms of Latex Allergy
The symptoms of latex allergy range from mild to severe depending on the sensitivity of the patient and the duration & degree of exposure to latex.
Mild or delayed latex allergy symptoms
- Skin redness
- Scaling of the affected parts
- Hives or rash
Severe or immediate latex allergy symptoms
- Running nose
- Difficulty in breathing
- Itching and watering of eyes
- Itching in the throat
Serious latex allergy symptoms or anaphylaxis
- Severe itching with redness of the skin all over
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest tightness
- Hoarseness of voice
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Cramps in the stomach
- Paleness or redness of the face
- Decreased blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid or weak pulse rate
Causes of Latex Allergy
Latex allergy is caused because the body mistakes latex as a harmful substance and produces antibodies against it. When the person is exposed to latex for the next time, the antibodies which are already present in the blood sends signals to the body and thus the body reacts against the latex giving rise to abnormal signs and symptoms.
Latex allergy can be caused due to:
- Direct contact with latex
- This is mostly seen in people who come in contact with a latex containing products like rubber gloves, balloons, condoms, etc.
- The latex particles get mixed with the surrounding air especially when a person removes rubber gloves and that can lead to an allergic reaction when these latex particles are breathed in.
Diagnosis of Latex Allergy
Diagnosis of latex allergy is made by:
- Asking proper medical history of the patient whether he had suffered from similar symptoms in the past after an exposure to latex.
- Asking for the family history of allergies if any.
- Skin prick test: In this test, little amount of latex is applied to the skin. Then a small prick is made on the skin with a needle and the latex is allowed to move under the skin surface. If the person is allergic to latex, he comes up with a small lump over the area where the latex was applied.
- Blood tests: The sample of blood is sent to a lab for testing the sensitivity of the person to latex.
Homoeopathic Management of Latex Allergy
Homoeopathic Medicines will help to relieve the irritation redness irritation of the skin. Also, other signs and symptoms will be kept under control. The severity of the disease will be controlled.
- Thin, watery, excoriating discharge
- Sneezing without relief
- worse in the open air; better indoors.
- Burning and bleeding
- Air-passages constricted. Asthma worse midnight.
- Burning in the chest. Suffocative catarrh.
- A cough worse after midnight; worse lying on back.
- Expectoration scanty, frothy.
- < night > warmth
- Thirst: Sip by sip
- Chilly Patient
- Mid Day Mid night aggravation
- all those cases of skin allergy where excessive itching with an extreme burning
- Skin usually remains dry. The patient scratches the skin and gets relief.
- aversion to bathing,
- unhealthy dirty looking skin,
- craving for sweets
- Hot Patient
- Itching at point of nose. Dry, hard crusts form, bleeding when loosened.
- Nasal bones sensitive. Sneezing in morning. Obstructed and loss of smell.
- Pricking as of a pin in the tonsil. Parotid glands swollen.
- Stinging pain on swallowing.
- A cough with expectoration in a day, bloody or purulent. A violent cough when lying down, with thick, yellow lumpy expectoration
- Worse, new moon, in morning, from washing, during menses, uncovering, lying down, damp, lying on, left the side, cold.
- Better, warmth, wrapping up head, summer; in wet or humid weather.
- treats the hives or urticarial rash due to allergic reactions.
- violent itching with burning and stinging sensations
- relieved by cold applications.
- The skin is sensitive to touch.
- > in open
- < covering, warmth
- Eruptions on folds of skin
- Obese females suffer from herpes with delayed scanty menses
- Left sided mainly
- Oozing of watery sticky fluid
- Circular eruptions hard to touch
- < night, during and after menses
- vesicular and pustular eruptions.
- pimples around the main eruption.
- Itching on eruptions which < warmth of bed.
- Chilly Patient
- Profuse perspiration
- Profuse thirst
- Papules suppurate and extend.
- Unhealthy Skin every little injury suppurates.
- boils and carbuncles.
- Acne in the youth which suppurates with prickly pain.
- Extremely Chilly Baby
- Sensitive of being Uncovered
- Rash gets infected with offensive odour
- < touch
- dry, hot swollen and sensitive Skin
- Redness around the eruption.
- There are erythema pustules on the face.
- Wounds are suppurative.
- Violent Onset
- Chilly patient