Latex is a natural rubber produced from a certain kind of tree. Some people have allergic reactions whenever they contact with things made from latex, such as latex gloves. In the body of someone allergic, the immune system tries to fight off the latex substance as if it is trying to harm the body. However, you can manage your allergic reaction with natural remedies for latex allergies.
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What is a Latex Allergy?
A latex allergy is a situation where your body’s immune system reacts to a kind of protein present in natural latex rubber used to produce such things as condoms, gloves, and some medical devices. The actual cause of latex allergy is still unknown even to medical professionals. However, perhaps coming in contact with rubber and latex products is a significant part of the allergic reactions.
Who is at Risk of Having Latex Allergy?
Due to gloves and other rubber products, about 5 to 10 percent of healthcare workers develop some form of allergy to latex. Besides healthcare workers, other people likely to develop the allergy include those who have:
- Food allergies such as allergies to tomatoes, pineapple, avocadoes, raw potatoes, papayas, melons, kiwi, chestnuts, celery, carrots, bananas, and apples
- Bone marrow defect
- Spina bifida
- A deformed urinary tract or bladder
- Eczema, asthma, or any other form of allergy
- Had more than one operation
- A urinary catheter with a rubber tip
- People who work in industries producing rubber and those who frequently use condoms are also at risk of developing latex allergies.
Types of Latex Allergies
Latex reactions have three types:
1. Irritant contact dermatitis
This latex reaction is the least threatening type, and its reaction is not a skin one. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs because of repeated exposure to chemicals in gloves, and it results in skin problems, scaling, burning, itching, and dryness. This reaction starts within 12 to 24 hours after contact.
2. Allergic contact dermatitis
This reaction is delayed because of the additives used in processing latex. The reaction is often similar to that of irritant contact dermatitis. However, the reaction from allergic contact dermatitis is a severe one, and it often spreads to other parts of the body. When this type of reaction surfaces, it usually lasts longer. Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis can start from about 1 to 4 days of contact with latex.
3. Immediate allergic reaction (also known as latex hypersensitivity)
Of all the three types of latex reactions, this one is the most serious. It can surface as a nasal allergy and exhibits symptoms associated with hay fever, such as severe itching, hives, cramps, and conjunctivitis. Latex hypersensitivity is rare, and its symptoms may include low blood pressure, trouble breathing, chest pain, tremors, rapid heartbeat, or anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction).
If your latex allergic reaction is severe, you should call your doctor immediately or visit the nearest hospital.
Symptoms of Latex Allergy
Latex allergic reactions often take the form of a rash during the point of contact – this form of contact is known as contact dermatitis, as already explained above. Signs of this form of latex allergy may include:
- cracking or weeping skin (eczema)
- itchy hands
- skin rash
It is often temporary, and it may start within minutes after exposure, but the symptoms may take several hours to develop. You can soothe the rashes that develop by using calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Proteins from latex can sometimes become airborne. When such occurs, a person who is hypersensitive to latex may breathe them in without knowing. Such a person can, as a result, develop more severe reactions, such as:
- red or swollen tongue, lips, or skin
- rapid heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- abdominal pain
There are hundreds of products that contain latex, including a lot of items you can spread. If you are sensitive to latex, avoid the following items:
- rubber balloons (you can use the ones made with mylar instead)
- medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs, catheters, intravenous tubes, and gloves
- elastic bandages
- dentistry devices, such as dental dams and orthodontic rubber bands
- certain office or school supplies like rubber cement, paint, adhesive tape, erasers, and rubber bands
- contraceptive products like diaphragms and condoms
- children and infant items such as teething, disposable diapers, bottle nipples, pacifiers, and other toys
- specific household products like rubber gloves, some rugs, bathmats, and zippered storage bags
- clothing that contains elastic bands like raincoats, running shoes, and pants or underpants
Diagnosing Latex Allergy
Doctors can diagnose latex allergy in people who:
- are at risk of a latex allergy, and their blood or skin tests show that they are allergic to latex, even though they have not experienced its symptoms.
- have experienced symptoms of an allergic reaction when they expose themselves to natural rubber products or latex, such as trouble breathing, itching, wheezing, eye irritation or tearing, hives, or skin rash.
Latex Allergy Treatments
The best way to avoid having latex allergy symptoms is to keep yourself from anything latex if you know you are allergic. At the moment, latex allergy has no cure. However, if you have a reaction to latex (perhaps after contact), the severity of the symptom will determine how the treatment will go. The following may be the treatments you need:
- Soothing lotions like hydrocortisone cream or calamine
- Corticosteroid medicines
The following are necessary for a severe reaction:
- Observations by a medical professional
- IV fluids
Anyone with a medical allergy should always wear a medical alert bracelet in case of an emergency. Your situation may also demand that you carry two epinephrine shots as recommended by your doctor. Besides the treatments listed above, you can also treat your allergic reaction by using natural remedies for latex allergies. Home remedies can prove to be more effective than the treatments listed above.
8 Natural Remedies for Latex Allergy
There are natural and herbal remedies that can help relieve your latex allergy symptoms fast. These remedies may include drinking enough water, receiving plenty of fresh air, and watching the kinds of food you take. The following are natural remedies for latex allergy that may effectively deal with your latex allergy symptoms.
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Alkaline Diet
Sometimes, other allergies like lactose intolerance, food allergy, pet allergy can trigger latex allergy as an additional ailment. Therefore, it is essential to adequately treat the other underlying allergies to prevent the occurrence or aggravation of latex allergy in people. To help reduce your risk of latex allergy and other allergies, you should begin to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Foods that contain essential nutrients for your body will give your immune system the power to repair and making it able to fight off such common symptoms of latex allergies.
The following are the ingredients and foods that can help with your allergies:
Garlic is an antibiotic that helps eliminate allergies, viruses, and infections. Juicing or eating two raw cloves of garlic may go a long way in relieving the symptoms associated with latex allergy. If you cannot stand the smell of this powerful antioxidant, you may choose to take its supplement instead. However, it would be best to understand that the natural herb works more effectively than its supplement. Raw garlic will help boost your immune system.
Lemon is a beautiful immune-boosting fruit. People who understand the effectiveness of lemon use it for various ailments and allergies. Lemon is loaded with vitamin C and oxidants that boost the immune system. You can detoxify your body simply by drinking lemon water every day. To fight off latex allergy symptoms, you should squeeze out the juice of one or two lemons and mix it with olive oil. You can use this mixture to make an excellent dressing for veggie sandwiches and salads.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Such leafy greens like watercress, arugula, romaine, collard greens, kale, and spinach contain essential enzymes, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that can help reduce inflammation and aid detoxification.
Probiotic foods can help a damaged intestinal lining. Examples of probiotic foods include kombucha, miso, raw cheese, yogurt, natto, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir.
You can make this by using either beef or chicken stock. The broth is rich in amino acids and many minerals that support the healing of the leaking gut.
Almond Seeds and Butter
The butter and seeds provide unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals like magnesium and riboflavin. Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are healthy sources of fiber and fats.
Rather than using wheat flour to bake or cook, you can use rice flour, oat flour, spelled flour, almond flour, and coconut flour, which are gluten-free.
Exclusive breastfeeding has a preventive effect on the early development of atopic dermatitis and asthma. But It should be excluded if you have lactose intolerance.
2. Local Raw Honey
Eating some raw honey each day will help control your latex allergy symptoms. Taking a teaspoon of local raw honey each day will help your body build a tolerance to the protein from latex that may not work well in your body system. Raw honey contains bee pollen that can ward off allergies and infections. Honey is also excellent for boosting the immune system. Honey has many enzymes that support the entire immune function that help in relieving allergies.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
You can buy original apple cider vinegar in most supermarkets nowadays. Apple cider vinegar is ideal for supporting lymphatic drainage and breaking up mucus. When you wake up each morning, mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water, add some lemon juice to it, and then drink the mixture on an empty stomach. When you have an allergic attack, you should put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a neti pot solution, especially for a sinus flush.
Quercetin is available in plant foods like cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower or broccoli), shallots/onions, citrus fruits, and green tea. It is a polyphenol antioxidant that helps to naturally control symptoms of an allergy by inhibiting the production of histamine and pro-inflammatory mediators. Quercetin can take several months of use before it begins to work, so it is best to use it as a long-term remedy.
5. Neti Pot
Neti pots are great for relieving allergies, including some respiratory conditions, because they help remove congestion. When you use a neti pot, ensure that the water is as sterile and distilled as possible. Do not make use of tap water.
6. Stinging Nettle
The leaf of stinging nettle controls histamine naturally, and you can use the leaf either in tincture form or as a tea. Other natural remedies for latex allergy include horehound, turmeric, butterbur, yarrow, sea buckhorn, reishi mushroom, perilla, and asparagus.
7. Frankincense Oil and Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus and Frankincense essential oils are some of the most potent natural remedies for latex allergy symptoms, including other allergies. Various other essential oils effectively relieve allergic symptoms by improving the detoxification of harmful toxins, microorganisms, parasites, and bacteria that can trigger allergic attacks. However, studies have revealed that both frankincense oil and eucalyptus oil are very beneficial in dealing with allergic symptoms associated with latex.
8. Removing Irritants from Your Home
You can get rid of the triggers and irritants in your home. Ensure that you keep anything made from latex away from your reach or anywhere you can easily get in contact with them; such latex products include the following:
- Some brands of raincoats and rain boots
- Rubber sink mats and sink stoppers
- Elastic in bathing suits and bathing caps
- Gloves for household cleaning and dishwashing
- Binocular eyepieces, telescope, or camera
- Rubber grip or rubber utensils
- Recording devices with rubber grips or remote controllers with rubber keys for TVs
- Water hoses or rubber electrical cords
- Pens with any rubber coating
- Floor rugs and bath mats that have a rubber backing
- Calculators and keyboards with rubber switches or keys
- Diaphragms and condoms
- Wrist and mouse pads containing rubber
- Rubber-made diapers
- Rubber stamps, desktops, and chair pads. Keyboard and mouse cords, rubber bands
- Adult undergarments made from rubber
- Older Barbie dolls made of rubber
- Waterproof bed pads that have rubber in them
- Adhesives such as glue, glue pens, art supplies, paste
- Socks, undergarments, and other clothing containing rubber
Apart from the home, many items have latex, such as:
- Gloves are worn by workers in beauty salons
- Checkout belts of grocery stores
- Rubber buttons of ATM
- Restaurants where workers make use of latex gloves to make their food
- Car races that give off rubber and tire particles
- Some balloons
- Some medical products also contain latex, such as:
- Dental devices
- Some adhesive bandages
- Blood pressure pads
- IV tubing
- EKG pads
While all the natural remedies for latex allergies are effective in dealing with your symptoms, you should not self-medicate without seeking the directions of your doctor or allergist. You should consult your medical professional for a comprehensive allergic profile so that you can know what you should avoid.
The information contained in this post "Latex Allergic Reactions: 8 Natural Remedies for Latex Allergy" is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.