Latex Glove Allergies
Many studies suggest that up to 6% of the general population and up to 13% of healthcare workers will develop an allergic reaction to latex at some point in their lifetime. Reaction to latex can be as simple as irritant contact dermatitis – the development of dry, itchy, irritated areas on the skin, usually the hands. This is caused by not only the latex material, but also the powders added to the gloves to assist in donning them. However, some patients can develop more severe reactions to latex, including anaphylactic shock – a condition where the blood pressure plummets due to the widening of blood vessels in the body. Left untreated, this intense allergic reaction could cause death.
What is latex? The term "latex" refers to the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree or the products made from that sap. The term is used to mean "natural rubber products."