Latex is a milky fluid that comes from the tropical rubber tree. Hundreds of everyday products contain latex. Repeated exposure to a protein in natural latex can make you more likely to develop a latex allergy. If your immune system detects the protein, a reaction can start in minutes. You could get a rash, asthma and in rare cases shock from latex exposure.
Your doctor may use a physical exam and skin and blood tests to diagnose it. There are medicines to treat a reaction, but it is best to try to avoid latex. Common latex products include
- Rubber bands
- Shoe soles
You can find latex-free versions of these products.