There are two different types of latex sensitivities. The first is called a Type I or IgE-mediated sensitivity and is believed to affect 6.5% of the general population. Health care workers or individuals with frequent exposure to latex are at increased risk. An IgE-mediated latex allergy can present with a reaction ranging from just hives, respiratory distress or even anaphylaxis. Therefore it is extremely important to identify this allergy. ImmunoCAP laboratory testing can be sent to determine if you have an allergy to latex.
The second type of latex sensitivity is called a Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) or Type IV hypersensitivity reaction. This is a slow onset reaction and is typically a reaction to the chemicals involved in the manufacturing process of latex, as opposed to the latex itself. It is also known as a Contact Dermatitis, and this type of latex sensitivity can be diagnosed via patch testing.
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