January 20, 2018

Latex Allergy


Here’s a free collection of resources about Latex Allergy.

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Latex Allergy Survey

We’re surveying people about their experiences with Latex Allergy. Here will be a collection of their responses.

*This information is not meant to replace medical advice, and the information gathered via surveys may or may not be correct. Hopefully it will be helpful to you!

*Response format = Answer (Name, Age)


**Click here to share your experience with Latex Allergy**


Latex Allergy Symptoms

What symptoms have you experienced?

  • Tight throat, coughing, red rash, itching and tightness in the chest. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • Anaphylaxis and urticaria. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • Anaphylaxis. (Anonymous, 35 years old)
  • Unable to breathe, sore throat, rashes, eczema, and swelling. (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • Burning skin, facial swelling, joint pain, anxiety, racing heart, tingling/burning lips, upset stomach, and migraine. (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • Increased asthma symptoms, whole body reddening of the skin, rash, swelling, and itching. (Judi, 36 years old)
  • Anaphylaxis, rashes, swelling, itching, and coughing. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • Hard to breathe, congestion, and runny nose. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • Breathing trouble, dizziness, pain, bubbling rash, lacey rash, blood pressure changes, and cross-reaction to food. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • Rash, hives, asthma, nausea, vomiting, swelling eyes, swelling throat and itchy skin. (Tylinia, 46 years old)
  • Full anaphylactic shocks with respiratory arrest and one possible cardiac arrest. I react to both touch and airborne protein exposure. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • Anaphylaxis, swelling, and hives. (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • Hives, mouth lesions, and anaphylaxis. (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • Swelling eyes, throat, lips, hives, shortness of breath, tearfulness, and inability to concentrate/make decisions. Flight – needing to escape place quickly. (Susan, 48 years old)
  • Type 1 latex allergy including airborne and most rubber. I have had two cases of collapsing with this. (Linda, 55 years old)
  • I started with a rash in the area of exposure. My last symptom was a cardiogenesis. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • Rash, itching, nasal stuffiness, nasal congestion, cough, tickling in throat, abdominal cramping, urinary retention, swelling in the throat – tongue – lips – neck – face, feeling of impending doom, inability to get air in or out while attempting to breathe, faintness, weakness and impaired cognition. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • Everything from itching to allergy-induced asthma including respiratory distress. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • Latex gloves make my hand break out in rash and blisters. Bandaids itch and skin gets raw. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Causes

Is there anything you believe contributed to or caused your Latex Allergy?

  • Multiple surgeries, workplace exposure. (Anonymous)
  • Wearing gloves as a nurse in the OR. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • Severe seasonal allergies. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • Wearing latex gloves and blowing up balloons. (Anonymous, 35 years old)
  • Contact allergy at birth turned airborne at age 33 due to overexposure. (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • Family history. Ears pierced at age 11, developed an allergy to nickel, then slowly developed latex allergy. My mother had the same experience, no allergy symptoms until ear piercing. (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • Wearing latex coated work gloves for 3 years straight. (Judi, 36 years old)
  • Repeated exposure, stressful event and autoimmune disease. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • Worked in automotive industry for a few years. Then I went on to work at a doctor’s office and had a scope of my throat when I had a reaction to shellfish. Lastly, I had a c-section when I had an unexpected pregnancy. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • Rubber stamping. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • Numerous surgeries with medical latex gloves for interventions for a genetic bone disease. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • Latex condom usage. (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • High dose of antibiotics. (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • Blood transfusion. This has been confirmed by a doctor. (Susan, 48 years old)
  • I worked in the medical profession as a speech pathologist and wore a lot of latex gloves during dysphagia treatment. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • Employment in healthcare setting since I was 13 years of age where latex gloves were used routinely. The use of latex gloves in restaurants, deli’s, meat processing plants and product production. The use of latex balloons used in the community. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • Nursing for just over 9 years wearing latex gloves plus multiple surgeries in a short time. (Patty, 63 years old)

Latex Allergy Facts

What are some interesting facts about Latex Allergy?

  • It isn’t just limited to latex. You can react to a lot of foods as well. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • It can affect anyone who is exposed enough. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • The cross-reactions like (tropical) fruit and nuts are numerous and the list just keeps on growing… (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • You can have reactions to many things that may not contain latex, but chemicals that are often with latex, not labeled on MSDS. (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • You can be allergic to certain fruits because of it. (Judi, 36 years old)
  • The snowball effect of foods cross-reacting. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • The cross-reactions that occur from latex allergies. (Norma 39 years old)
  • They worsen with each exposure. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • Cross-reactive foods, it is hidden in so many products. (Tylinia, 46 years old)
  • That it is in over 2000 everyday household things and almost impossible to avoid. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • You don’t have to touch it to be affected. My allergy is also airborne. (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • All of the cross-reactive foods, and hidden ingredients in beauty products. (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • One day I can eat something I have for years and then all of a sudden I can’t. (Linda, 55 years old)
  • My allergist told me that latex allergy has no logical progression of the reaction. So it wasn’t surprising to him that I had skin and some asthma problems upon exposure 1 time and the next time it stopped my heart. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • Every exposure worsens the allergy. There are many cross-reactive proteins in food. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • It is the hidden latex that is such a problem plus the cross-reactive foods. Like the latex contained in Carbonless paper – gets me everytime if I am too close. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • It is an evolving revelation as to what has been going on. A trial and error conclusion watching what has been happening. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Pain Management

What’s your experience with Latex Allergy-related pain and pain relief?

  • Dutch antihistamines don’t seem to help and there is no Benadryl here! (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • Severe headaches, and no relief! I try pain meds such as tramadol, Lortab, Percocet, all with minimal results. Benedryl and ibuprofen seem to help some for joint pain, but not much. (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • None. Just ride it out. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • It’s miserable and time seems to be the only relief. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • My pain comes MAINLY from my bone disease but I can get major stomach cramps if I eat food contaminated by latex or handled with latex gloves. I suffer from incredibly itchy eyes on exposure and a very painful throat when it isn’t closed. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • Tons of Benadryl, which knocks me out. (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • If I have difficulty with pain relief at the dentist, I cannot take Novocaine. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • It Is hard to say which of my medical diagnoses cause which pain. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Central Pain Syndrome, Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Arthritis, Degenerative Disc and Joint Disease, and Small fiber neuropathy all since the start of my allergy symptoms to latex. Pain relief: Everyone is unique. I use a variety of alternative techniques to reduce my pain intensity along with Gabapentin as prescribed. I have pain 24 hours a day every day. The intensity is what changes. I can tell you that whenever I have an episode of respiratory distress, I feel like I have been run over by a semi truck multiple times. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • I cannot distinguish between my regular chronic pain and any pain induced by latex. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • For itching pain and burning sometimes I have tried cold cloth. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Difficulties

What are the hardest aspects of living with a Latex Allergy?

  • Avoiding my allergen. (Anonymous)
  • Friends, family, and colleagues not understanding what needs to be avoided. Ignorance amongst the medical profession. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • Finding safe alternatives to everyday things and suddenly reacting to a food that used to be safe. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • People’s lack of understanding, not being able to go out without being on high alert and having to go home due to allergens or reactions when mentally prepared to go out. (Anonymous, 35 years old)
  • You become a hermit. No party, wedding or even funeral is safe due to use of balloons, shopping is almost impossible for the same reason and eating out is extremely dangerous because of latex gloves being used in food preparation. (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • Isolation, discrimination, people not believing you, trying to trick yourself by thinking that if you just don’t “see” the latex you won’t have a reaction, people acting like you are a freak, and the pain! (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • It is more common than I thought! (Judi, 36 years old)
  • Anxiety, having to leave places with balloons because of airborne reactions. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • The restrictions that happen. It makes such a horrible impact on your life in a negative way. You literally have to plan all aspects of your life now. It’s not only emotionally draining, it’s financially draining as well. I have gone through such a depression from this allergy. It’s so isolating. Without the strength of my family, I would have become suicidal. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • How prevalent latex is, it can be very hard to avoid. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • Hidden Latex in food. (Tylinia, 46 years old)
  • Trying to live anything like a normal life without exposures and the lack of understanding from other people. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • What to wear and safe places to go. (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • It severely limits my diet, affects my whole family and how they live with me. (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • Shopping centers with air conditioning. (Susan, 48 years old)
  • Being aware of everything, everywhere you go, everything you touch and everything you put in your mouth. My grandson not being able to have his Christmas Mr. Bendy doll because of my allergy. (Linda, 55 years old)
  • I have difficulty finding clothes and eating out and feeling safe. Servers will lie about what type of gloves or the spices/ingredients in food. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • Dietary change was a large impact but just knowing that I may quit breathing if I ate something, I did not eat what I was craving. Attempts to find replacement foods was discouraging and sometimes still is. I am a social person. I love going places, meeting new people, and utilizing my education and skills. This allergy severity has isolated me a lot. Thank goodness for the internet and phone, at least, that gives me some socialization – not the same as face to face, though. Minimal contact with the outside world, the less I have reactions. I have to wear a respirator every time I go outside my home.  (Debra, 61 years old)
  • Other people that do not understand and choose to not believe in latex allergy including some doctors. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • Trying to get doctors to listen to you and take you seriously. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Advice

What encouragement/advice can you give others who have a Latex Allergy?

  • Be hyper-aware of your surroundings. (Anonymous)
  • Find a good support group on Facebook. They are great to get answers about latex safe products and how to manage latex allergies. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • Find a support group and friends who understand and aren’t going to make you feel like a burden. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • You are not alone with this, there are people who do understand and care. (Anonymous, 35 years old)
  • You’re not alone. Don’t cross off all possible cross-reactions, only the ones that you react to, but be aware of the dangers and the fact that your allergy can change. (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • Join a support group or Facebook group. It helps to know others experience the same as you and to know you are not alone. There are people out there that believe you and understand what you are dealing with. (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • Avoidance is key and always email companies for ingredients. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • I would encourage finding a support group. You need people that are going through the same thing as you for that support. It makes life a little less lonely. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • You aren’t alone, find an online support group to share info and advice. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • Do lots of research. (Tylinia, 46 years old)
  • It’s a steep unforgiving learning curve so learn that avoidance at all cost is the key. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • Always be on alert. Always have rescue meds with you at all times. (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • Keep away from anything latex. (Susan, 48 years old)
  • Don’t give in to a bubble or it will ruin your life, find a way around things. (Linda, 55 years old)
  • Research before you purchase. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • We can survive this allergy. Join online support. Keep up to date on latex allergy. Learn as much as you can from reputable/reliable resources and research. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • Keep yourself safe, secure your home and do not let anyone tell you that “it is all in your head.” (Patty, 63 years old)
  • Be patient with yourself. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Treatments

What’s been your experience with treatments (medication, surgery, etc.)?

  • Haven’t used an EpiPen yet. Right now I manage with a high dose Benadryl. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • Antihistamines and steroid creams are a lifesaver. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • Problems with latex gloves being used to put medication tablets into packets. (Anonymous, 35 years old)
  • Not much helps! (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • Carry your epi-pen always, also loads of antihistamines. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • Not a lot of luck in that department. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • Allergy rescue meds help just a little and my EpiPen is always with me. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • Only EpiPens have saved me. No other medications have made any difference or prevent anaphylactic shock once exposed. I still take high doses of antihistamines. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • Benadryl, Pepcid, and Zyrtec are my go-to drugs. I’ve never had to use an epi pen. I always got to the ER quickly.  (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • Drowsiness. Epi-pens are great and quick to work. (Susan, 48 years old)
  • I used to receive cream after being in contact to calm the swelling, but now they have issued me with 2 x 500mg Eli-pens, and advice and leaflets about contacts with it. My doctor has been very helpful, plus now I have internet and many sites. This has been helpful since in the 80’s it was not recognized, I had big problems when I was in the hospital with 2 cesareans, sterilization and appendix. I was more allergic to latex than when I went in. They didn’t even say it was latex. (Linda, 55 years old)
  • I use Xolair for asthma and intermittently, prednisone. I am now diabetic because they exceeded my lifetime max with the cardiogenesis. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • Avoidance is the best for latex allergy. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • What treatments? My life is “Avoid Latex at all costs” as I cannot be given Epi. My medications for exposure are Benadryl and Pepcid plus an inhaler. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • Not much with what I have tried. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Recommendations

Anything you’d recommend for someone with Latex Allergies?

  • Marks and Spencer has a lot of good latex free clothes that won’t cost a fortune. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • Avoid all latex! Any exposures will make your allergy progressively worse. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • Do your research and don’t give up. (Anonymous, 35 years old)
  • Avoid it! Continued exposure worsens the reactions! (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • Avoid it! Be aware of possible food cross-reactions. (Judi, 36 years old)
  • Always carry wet wipes they can be a lifesaver. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • Take it one day at a time. Allow yourself time to grieve. It is a loss of independence and freedom. Eventually, you’ll learn more about what works and doesn’t for your body. Till then, breath and know that there are going to be good and bad days, and that’s okay. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • Get your family on board as soon as you can and make sure that they understand the seriousness. (Nj, 43 years old)
  • Be very cautious with prepackaged food and restaurants. (Tylinia, 46 years old)
  • Don’t allow unnecessary exposures or testing, trust your gut instinct, and keep yourself safe. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • Educate yourself on what to avoid. When in doubt, don’t touch. (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • Be vigilant in reading labels! Also, call manufacturers when in doubt. (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • Be your own advocate, no one else cares. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • Avoid latex. Advocate for yourself and others. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • Make your house safe, set rules about what can come into your house to avoid accidental exposure, find a good mask/respirator to wear (I have two different ones depending on what store I need to go to), watch out for the hidden latex. Ask to see the box of gloves used by your local meat market and watch out for cross-reactive foods. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • Pay attention to your body and what it is reacting to like rashes, breathing problems, etc. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Resources

What specific resources have you found most helpful?

  • Latex allergy support groups on Facebook. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • Facebook advice page. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • Facebook groups. (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • Internet. Most doctors still don’t understand this allergy and you have to do your own research. (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • Latex allergy lists and support groups. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • American latex allergy association is my go-to place, and believe it or not, Pinterest, and my groups. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • Mayo clinic and ALAA. (Tylinia, 46 years old)
  • The former UK based Latex Allergy Support Group before it merged into Anaphylaxis UK and online facebook groups. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • Latex allergy Facebook group. (Rebecca, 47 years old)
  • ALAA (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • Internet sites. (Linda, 55 years old)
  • Latex allergy support groups, and emailing/writing to manufacturers about how items are produced. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • Online support groups, medical journals, latex allergy association, asthma and allergy journals. (Debra, 61 years old)
  • Support groups and lots of research. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • Personal reaction and starting to do online research. (Betty, 67 years old)

Latex Allergy Stories

Share an experience you’ve had related to living with Latex Allergies.

  • I am a medical student and was at a suture clinic learning basic suturing. I had safe gloves and products, however just being around other people with latex gloves was enough to cause me to get a sore throat and start coughing. Thankfully I finished the clinic with a dose of Benadryl. (Kristyn, 25 years old)
  • Having to avoid all birthday parties, shop sales and celebrations because of balloons. Being told you’re a burden on society. Missing out on experiences because it’s too high risk. (Kirsty, 25 years old)
  • Experienced anaphylaxis in a physiotherapy department, I went to seek help at a doctor’s surgery next door and was told to phone later in the afternoon for an emergency appointment! (Anonymous, 35 years old)
  • I made a wedding cake for a dear friend and was supposed to sing at her wedding, but upon entering the church I noticed the balloon decorations that her family put up. I couldn’t even congratulate her! (Danielle, 35 years old)
  • I worked for a large company that was remodeling. The dealers on the windows and bathrooms caused reactions. After many reactions, trips to workers comp doctor as well as my primary care provider, and many days off work, the company decided they could offer me a temporary desk away from the chemicals. I let them know I could go anywhere in the large building except one small area that had new carpet. Of course, they placed me in the small office with new carpet. When I called an emergency meeting to discuss a move, and to let them know I was going home due to another reaction, my boss laughed and said they purposely put me there to see if I was lying about my allergy. That reaction was so bad I was off work for 6 weeks! Not to mention I could have died, but they laughed. (K. Hamilton, 36 years old)
  • You must remind medical professionals repeatedly. Be your own advocate. (Judi, 36 years old)
  • Disappointing my kids and having to leave or not go in because a soft play center or a fair etc. has balloons everywhere. Being unable to find somewhere to eat because cafes/restaurants are using latex gloves in the kitchen. (Eryn, 38 years old)
  • Living with latex can really test someone. It can make the strongest person crumble. I feel that the real character of an individual comes through if you can pick yourself up after the fall. I will find a happy medium to live with this horrible allergy. I need to show my kids that even though things are bad. They could always be much worse. We need to live life to the fullest. (Norma, 39 years old)
  • While eating string cheese I touched the sticky edge of the wrapper and after a few more bites my throat started swelling. The wrapper was sealed with a latex adhesive. (Tylinia, 46 years old)
  • Having someone nearly kill me in an office environment by sending balloons in an envelope “as a joke” and within 30 seconds I was in full anaphylaxis with respiratory arrest. Make sure you carry at least 1 EpiPen at all times and have someone with you who knows what to do. (Lewis, 46 years old)
  • I had head to toe hives from a kiwi extract in shampoo, it was listed by its Latin name. (Denaya, 47 years old)
  • I’ve frequently had to leave parties/nights out because there were balloons. (Susan, 48 years old)
  • When I had my daughter and they used a latex catheter and I bubbled inside to out, they said it was an infection. Someone popped a balloon at a party I ended up in the bath where I passed out and spent 2 weeks in bed. (Linda, 55 years old)
  • I always carry my EpiPen in my purse which was stolen in the grocery store. I had an allergic reaction to the handle on the cart or the belt at the check out stand and had them beg for my EpiPen, which was turned in. I guess criminals have some heart. (Karen, 56 years old)
  • It would take too long to answer this, cannot go out to eat at most places, cannot go to the movie theater, concerts, I cannot eat some of my favorite foods and cannot have potatoes peeled in the house or a cantaloupe cut inside. Finding some clothing articles was almost impossible and I had to give up tennis shoes completely. Parents never understood the allergy and after over 10 years of taking antihistamines my teeth are breaking down due to dry mouth. (Patty, 63 years old)
  • A little over two years ago I had a carcinoma removed from my shoulder and I reacted to the bandages and tape and all. We had to bandage with gauze and latex free wrap. (Betty, 67 years old)