While a few people develop a latex allergy early in life (usually due to exposure while very young), most latex allergies start after continued exposure over a period of time. Many health professionals and body modification practitioners have switched to using nitrile gloves to avoid developing a latex allergy.
After the first symptoms of a latex allergy occur (usually a rash on the area in contact with the latex), symptoms can worsen drastically with every exposure, and if latex isn't avoided there is a risk of anaphylaxis.
For those with a latex allergy, it should be avoided in all forms and in any quantity, which can be quite a difficult task. Latex is found in many medical devices, the tops of vials of medicine for injection, clothing, and some wound dressings, among other places.
Individuals who are allergic to latex products may experience allergic reactions due to cross reactivity from a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Including most commonly:
- Hazel nut