Life-61-_-Latex-Allergy-VIKUDO
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LATEX

Latex allergy is an abnormal response of the immune system to plant proteins found in latex …

Hello,
The latex from a rubber tree is also known as latex. In nature, latex exists as a milky liquid, found in about 10% of all flowering plants, especially rubber, the scientific name is Hevea brasiliensis. other hot and humid tropics, including Vietnam, to exploit latex to produce rubber products that meet the needs in many areas of life.

Latex is a complex emulsion made up of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, plastics and gum that coagulate when exposed to air. It is usually secreted after tissue trauma. Therefore, to mine the rubber latex, people have to cut the bark to release the latex.

By the way, I should also point out to you that latex should not be confused with sap because sap is a separate substance, secreted by the tree and performing separate functions.

The sap nourishes the plant by distributing water, minerals or sugar. Latex is more involved in the plant’s natural defense mechanisms.

LATEX ALLERGY

The essence of latex allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found in natural latex

There are thousands of types of household and industrial products that contain latex, from shoes and toys to popular tools in the health care industry and laboratories such as rubber gloves and latex clothing. Rubber and other types of medical equipment, meeting the extremely diverse and practical needs of life.

However, for some people, latex has brought them enormous problems, even direct dangers to health and life. These are the cases of latex allergy or latex allergy that I will call latex allergy.

From an epidemiological point of view, estimates of sensitivity to latex in the general population vary from 0.8% to 8.2% depending on the locality.

Latex allergy is the medical term that encompasses a wide range of allergic reactions to proteins found in natural latex. I would like to point out here that natural rubber latex is of plant origin rather than neoprene materials such as synthetic butyl or petroleum. Even synthetic paints, although referred to as “latex-based” “latex-based”, have not been shown to cause latex allergy. Without the rubber protein component, there is no latex allergy.

How does latex allergy occur?

The principle of allergy is similar to other food allergies that I talked about in the previous two talks, when an allergy occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as an invader. Combs such as bacteria or viruses react by releasing a variety of antibodies and toxic chemicals that disrupt allergic reactions with varying degrees of severity from case to case.

And, it is not on the first exposure to products containing natural latex that the immune system immediately develops an allergic reaction to the patient, but a latex allergy often develops after prolonged exposure to products containing rubber latex natural.

When objects containing or natural rubber come in contact with the mucous membranes of eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, etc., these mucous membranes can absorb latex protein, rubber protein. The immune system of people sensitive to rubber proteins will produce antibodies that respond to antigens, which are proteins.

In fact, many natural rubber items can cause a latex allergy, including toys that contain latex or medical equipment or supplies such as latex gloves, condoms, and latex condoms. shoe soles, pens, hot water bottles, rubber bands, baby nipples and bottle balloons, etc.

Additionally, people who are allergic to latex may also have or develop an allergic reaction to certain types of plants or fruits that contain proteins that have structural similarity to the latex protein they call. The name is purulent fruit syndrome. In fact, these are the common cross-allergies that occur between the protein allergen in rubber and structurally similar proteins found in fruits and vegetables such as bananas, pineapples, avocados, hazelnuts, kiwis, mangoes, peaches, passion fruit, figs, strawberries, papaya, apple, melon, celery, potato, tomato, carrot, pepper and soybean etc … This content can be detailed by me in the following presentations.

SYMPTOMS OF A LATEX ALLERGY

The symptoms of latex allergy are classified into 3 levels corresponding to 3 types of reaction to latex:

  • Irritant contact dermatitis: This is a less serious reaction that is not related to the immune system and is of course not a case of latex allergy. This contact dermatitis only causes dry, itchy and irritated areas of the skin, most often the hands. However, even if it is not a latex allergy, beware of dermatitis from latex gloves as it can further increase the risk of infection in medical settings, including blood-borne infections.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis: This is a slow reaction to additives used in the processing of latex. It causes the same reactions as irritant contact dermatitis which causes a slow rash similar to poison ivy which causes blisters and watery skin.
    The reaction that causes severe irritation, severe pain, and prolonged pain occurs if a condom is inserted into the urinary tract of a person who is allergic to latex.
    This type of allergic contact dermatitis can be diagnosed with a positive skin test. But in fact, there are still cases where people with allergies to latex always give negative results on skin patches.
  • Instant allergic reaction (hypersensitivity to latex): this is one of the most serious reactions. It can occur when the person has a nasal allergy along with symptoms such as hay fever, conjunctivitis (red eye pain), cramps, rashes, and intense itching. Although rare, symptoms can also include tachycardia, tremors, chest pain, shortness of breath, low blood pressure or anaphylactic shock with typical signs such as severe shortness of breath, hypotension and possibly It can quickly lead to the dead if not treated properly and quickly.

WHO IS AT RISK FOR LATEX ALLERGY?

  • Genetic factors: If a member of your family has an allergy to latex, your chances of contracting this disease will be higher than those of others.
  • Children with spina bifida: up to 68% of babies are allergic to latex.
  • People with defects in the cells of the bone marrow
  • Workers who manufacture industrial rubber are exposed to large amounts of latex for a long time. Incidence of latex allergy up to 10%
  • People who regularly contact and work with rubber tools, especially in laboratories, medical facilities, health care, etc. have a high risk of developing a latex allergy.
  • And, people who have had many stages of the surgery, especially in childhood, are at high risk of allergy to latex, etc.

PREVENT AND TREAT LATEX ALLERGY

Prevent latex allergy

Currently, there is no cure for latex allergy, so the best way to apply for the patient is to avoid the source of rubber protein exposure. Although it is difficult for the sick person to completely avoid contact with latex, if you are a person allergic to latex, there are specific measures you can take, such as:

  • Use latex free gloves, usually write clearly on the package such as “Fee Latex Gloves”, vinyl gloves, powder free gloves, etc.
  • Avoid contact with latex objects as mentioned above, do not inflate rubber balloons, etc.
  • To avoid pregnancy, only use condoms from reputable brands that do not contain latex
  • Avoid fruits and plants that can cause cross allergies as mentioned above, pay special attention to bananas, avocados, kiwis, etc. and also carefully check their presence in the wall.
  • Do not grow indoors and do not come into contact with white latex trees, such as saplings, figs, etc.
  • Inform your health care providers and daycare for your child (including your dentist whenever you have a dentist appointment) of any rubber allergy. In any case, doctors should not wear rubber gloves for an exam or surgery, as this can cause severe allergic shock. The use of medical devices containing latex (such as a bladder or gastric catheter, fluids, etc.) should also be prohibited.
  • Wear a medical identification bracelet with detailed information about one of your allergies.

Treat latex allergy

In the case of a latex allergy. The treatments commonly used on a case-by-case basis are:

  • Antihistamines are effective against allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, urticaria;
  • Corticosteroids are also effective against urticaria and eczema;
  • Anaphylaxis is a distinctive and severe manifestation of allergy. It is treated by intramuscular injection of epinephrine as an automatic injection. One thing that you should be very careful about is that when there are symptoms of anaphylaxis, unless it is extremely urgent, and when you have been well informed by a doctor in advance, you should consult promptly. a doctor or emergency room staff to find treatment. options, whether directly or indirectly over the phone, absolutely cannot be arbitrarily handled at home.

And, treatment by any method should also consult a doctor. During treatment, when there are abnormal signs or the disease tends to worsen, it is necessary to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

I wish you good health!

About Post Author

Maître VIKUDO

Docteur en Physiopathologie
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