Latex Allergy

Latex allergy—hypersensitivity to latex proteins found in latex gloves frequently used by dental office employees—can be a more serious systemic allergic reaction than contact dermatitis. Latex allergy, which is caused by the natural rubber latex (NRL) protein found in latex gloves, usually begins within minutes of exposure to latex, but can sometimes occur hours later. It produces varied symptoms, which commonly include runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, hives, and itchy burning sensations. However, it can involve more severe symptoms, including asthma, marked by difficult breathing, coughing spells, and wheezing; cardiovascular and gastrointestinal ailments; and in rare cases, anaphylaxis (shock) and death.

The following table lists the categories of glove-associated skin reactions:  


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