Q:

What are some examples of products that contain latex?

A:

Quick Answer

Products that contain latex include medical gloves, blood pressure cuffs, syringes and bandages. Toothbrushes with rubber grips often contain latex, as doesclothing that employs elastic. Baby bottle nipples, pacifiers, teething toys and diapers are all made with latex. Condoms, diaphragms, bathmats, rubber gloves and even items used in schools such as pencil erasers and rubber cement also contain latex.

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Full Answer

Latex allergies are common among people exposed to natural rubber latex. They are most prominent in individuals who have other allergies and in those who use latex gloves at work. They are also common in children with medical conditions such as spina bifida, as they are frequently exposed to natural rubber latex during exams.

Typically, these allergies are first seen as a rash covering the part of the body exposed to latex. This rash is often combined with itchiness, a runny nose or sneezing. Individuals who are extremely allergic experience shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Anaphylactic shock, which is uncommon, causes the individual to break out in hives, experience a drastic drop in blood pressure and have difficulty breathing. This type of reaction usually occurs when natural rubber latex comes in direct contact with mucous membranes in the mouth, vagina or colon. Anaphylactic shock can be fatal if a dose of epinephrine is not quickly administered.

Patients who are allergic to latex should have that information noted in their permanent medical record. They should keep medication to treat an allergic reaction on hand; this medication can range from Benadryl to self-administered shots of epinephrine. If working in the health care field, they should request non-latex gloves to use on the job.

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