Latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex; a product made from the rubber tree. If you have a latex allergy, your body mistakes latex for a harmful substance.
Latex allergy may cause itchy skin and hives or even anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause throat swelling and severe difficulty breathing. Your doctor can determine if you have a latex allergy or if you're at risk of developing a latex allergy.
Healthcare workers are at an increased risk of developing a latex allergy. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that 8-12 percent of health care workers are latex sensitive with reactions ranging from irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact sensitivity, to immediate, possibly life-threatening, sensitivity.
This course takes a closer look at latex allergy, including ways healthcare providers can reduce and/or prevent an allergy.
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