What Is Latex Contact Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a term normally used to describe any type of inflammation of the skin. This type of disorder is generally associated with aching, burning, and inflammation of the skin coupled with formation of skin lesions. There can be various causes of dermatitis. The latex contact dermatitis is one of them.

Latex is an artificially made product from the sap of the rubber tree, known as "Hevea Brasiliensis" in biological terms. This is found in Africa and Southeast Asia notably in Malaysia.

Latex contact dermatitis is therefore at type of dermatitis that is caused due to hypersensitivity to latex. In simple terms, it is the reaction of the body to certain proteins generally found in latex natural rubber products.

How Does Latex Contact Dermatitis Occur?

Latex contact dermatitis is the body's reaction to certain proteins and chemicals found into latex, which the body's immune system mistakes as harmful substances.

These reactions are caused due to allergy to latex leading to the latex contact dermatitis. They may in from a running nose, sneezing, itching, redness, and sometimes it can even lead to anaphylaxis which can potentially be life threatening. One should always consult a doctor immediately if a case of latex contact dermatitis is suspected.

The following trigger allergy to latex:

* Direct contact with latex - This can cause latex contact dermatitis among those whose body is sensitive to it. Direct contact is also one of the main causes of acquiring latex contact dermatitis in certain people.
* Inhaling latex particles - Latex contact dermatitis is also triggered by inhaling minute particles of latex that happen to be present in the existing environment. Those working in hospitals and in the companies involved in manufacture of latex products stand a high risk of developing latex contact dermatitis if their bodies immune system breaks down.

Products Leading To Latex Contact Dermatitis

Latex finds use in the many products in our day-to-day lives. One can see them at home in the form of hot-water bottles, balloons, swimming goggles, diaphragms, sanitary pads, rubber bands, baby nipples, bicycle parts like tubes, tires and other commonly used items like carpeting, clothes etc. All these are potential health hazards for those susceptible to latex contact dermatitis.

Prevention of Latex Contact Dermatitis

Latex contact dermatitis is easily preventable by keeping proper awareness and taking preventive measures to reduce exposure to such conditions that may cause latex contact dermatitis. Anyone susceptible to latex contact dermatitis should limit latex products he or she uses or replace them with suitable alternatives.

In case working in an environment containing latex micro particles is unavoidable (for example: those working in hospitals and in factories involved in the manufacture of latex products), the problem can be discussed with the employer and suitable alternatives found so that the risk of contracting latex contact dermatitis is minimized.

An early diagnosis can also help in controlling the allergy before it can magnify to a full-fledged case of latex contact dermatitis.