July 2018
Latex Allergies
Nurse, Other Licensed Professionals, Patient,Relative,Visitor,Caregiver, Physician

Key Facts

Icon showing symbol of blooddropLatex allergy is a reaction to proteins found in natural rubber products. It can be diagnosed with a blood test.





Icon of healthcare facilityLatex is commonly used in health care facilities like surgery centers, hospitals, and dental offices.




Common Symptoms

Icon of a clipboard checklist


        •  Mild: swelling, redness, and itching after exposure to latex   
        •  Severe: hives, inflammation of the eyes, scratchy throat, or wheezing. Seek medical attention right away for this type of reaction.
        •  Symptoms can occur from touching latex objects or breathing near them.



  • Anyone who frequently wears latex gloves or has had multiple surgeries or medical procedures (10 or more)
  • People with other allergies such as hay fever or allergies to certain foods like chestnuts, avocados, bananas, kiwi, and passion fruit or strong family history of allergies

Protect Yourself

Avoid latex whenever possible.

Be aware of products that may contain latex. Always read product labels.

Avoid items that may contain natural rubber like balloons, rubber gloves, rubber toys, baby bottle nipples, condoms, tourniquets used in healthcare facilities, urinary drainage catheters, and rubber bands. 

Always be prepared.

Wear a medical alert bracelet noting your latex allergy.

Carry an EpiPen with you in case of severe reaction.

Speak up.

Remind healthcare workers of your latex allergy before tests and procedures. Don't be afraid to repeat your allergy to everyone or question if products are latex-safe.

©2021 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority