What you need to know about latex allergy
Anyone using latex gloves is at risk of developing an allergic reaction. It is important that you take precautions to minimise the risk, however small. Allergic reactions can on occasion be life threatening and as latex (natural rubber) is found in a vast number of everyday objects, latex allergy could affect you in many areas of your life.
Avoid the problem
- Only use latex gloves if they offer a clear advantage over other types of protective glove. For information on selecting the right glove for a job please refer to the glove guidance selection. Make sure the glove you use meets the College’s quality standard, for latex gloves i.e. powder free and those with extractable proteins <50µg/g.
Always wash and dry your hands after removing gloves
- If you suffer from dry skin, dermatitis or need to wash your hands often, use an emollient cream after washing.
Recognising Latex Allergy
- The most likely allergic reaction to latex is dermatitis. Checking your skin regularly is easy and can help to catch dermatitis early. Look for dryness, itching, redness or other signs such as flaking, scaling, cracks or blisters. You can find more information here.
What to do if you think you have developed an allergy
- If you believe that you have dermatitis related to your work, take a picture if necessary and contact us at Occupational Health. You will be given an appointment. When you see an OH team member in clinic, tell us what you do at work and that you think this might be causing the problem. Also talk to your manager/supervisor about your concerns. If your dermatitis is confirmed and is work related, we need to make sure that you can work in a way that protects your health.