Latex has been shown to cause sensitivity reactions. Latex is a type of rubber used in various medical and non-medical products, including gloves, bandages, and catheters. It is harvested from the rubber tree and converted to usable latex before the product hardens. Exposure to latex through dermal contact, as seen with those individuals who wear latex gloves, is evidenced by a range of symptoms from nonspecific pruritus to urticaria, usually localized to the zone of contact. Inhalation of airborne latex particles may result in conjunctivitis, rhinitis, inflammation, asthma and, in severe cases, bronchospasm and anaphylactic shock.
Signs of a Latex allergy typically include an itchy, red rash on the skin which appears shortly after contact. In some cases, more extreme reactions such as hives, tightening of the throat, or difficulty breathing can occur. Some people can also have an allergic reaction to foods which contain similar proteins to those found in Latex such as bananas, melons, avocado, kiwi, and chestnuts.