Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Today, about 5 to 10 percent of doctors and other healthcare professionals experience latex allergy. As the name highlights, the allergy causes from latex present in rubber-made gloves and other similar products, like condoms and similar type of objects. Other than this, a few people suffer from this type of allergy because of-

  • Deformed urinary tract and bladder
  • Defect in various bone marrow cells
  • Underwent with specific type of surgery
  • Usage of urinary catheter, as it contains a rubber tip
  • Specific health conditions, like eczema, asthma and any other form of allergy
  • Food allergy to specific fruits, such as kiwis, avocados, chestnuts and bananas

Doctors have until now not identified the exact cause of the allergic reaction mentioned here. However, they guess that direct contact with rubber products/latex-based products repeatedly is a major reason behind the problem.

Can A Latex Allergy Rash Spread To Other Areas?

Yes, latex allergy rash are able to spread in other areas of our body. These include our bloodstream, our mucous membranes and lungs in some cases although the reason for the allergic reaction may differ, as we have discussed here.

Latex Allergy Rash Spreads via Membranes, Bloodstream and Skin

Latex exposures often take place via direct contact of latex/rubber product via skin, bloodstream or membranes and even via inhalation of various airborne latex particles. Protein present in latex is responsible to fasten to form powder used often in different types of latex gloves. Whenever you remove powered gloves, protein or powder particles present in the gloves mixed with oxygen and other gases in the air. Individuals may inhale air and come in direct/indirect contact with their mouth, eyes, nose or mucous membranes, while suffer from allergy.

Latex Allergy Rash Enters Directly In The Bloodstream

In some cases, latex allergy spreads to the human body via parenteral exposures i.e. latex allergy enters directly in the bloodstream causing rash in other regions. These exposures come with the potential to cause relatively more severe reactions. Parenteral exposure may take place at the time of surgery whenever healthcare professionals use latex devices on opened tissues. Even it may take place after injections by using needles, which contain latex rubber stopper in punctured form on any medication vial.

Latex Allergy Rash Due To Airborne Latex Particles Inhalation

Latex allergy due to inhalation of latex particles of airborne type often takes place whenever protein substances present in latex combines with cornstarch or powder from one’s gloves and form airborne aerosolized particles. These particles enter the mouth, nose, eyes or lungs, from where mucous membranes in moist form absorb the protein.

A majority of research studies have revealed that airborne type of latex allergy particles are relatively higher in healthcare departments or clinical settings, as there powered latex are useful on a frequent basis. These airborne particles are of high in personalized breathing areas of an individual wearing latex/rubber gloves and the rashes spread to other areas of the body from the source.

Even the aerosolized particles may attach with dust, lint and other similar equipment, along with clothes to re-suspend in the air. Most of the family members suffered by latex allergies have reported about reactions once they handle clothes worn by professionals work in medical/clinical settings and often exposed to latex gloves in powered forms.

Sources of Latex Exposure

Whether you are a healthcare professional or any other individual, you may expose to latex from the following major sources-

  • From your skin, like whenever you opt to wear latex/rubber gloves.
  • From your mucous membranes, like rectum, vagina, mouth and eyes.
  • Inhalation of protein powder contained in rubber gloves.
  • From the blood whenever you use specific medical devices filled with rubber.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 14, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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