Thursday, June 23, 2011


I'm gonna honestly say, I had no idea you could develop a latex allergy.

I mean, I know about randomly developing allergies, trust me. I've always had problems with pollen, mold, freshly cut grass, and animal dander. After years of various allergy medicines, this suddenly manifested into an inability to eat cantelope, bananas, watermelon, or any other melon without feeling as though my lips were burning and swelling and my throat was about to close - a dangerous and potentially deadly reaction called anaphylaxis. With bananas, I can subdue the reaction somewhat with allergy medicine ahead of time, but melons are still out of my league. Curiously, I had been previously consuming all of these things during my childhood without a problem, with the first reactions manifesting in high school. I'm lucky, though - these foods are specific and easy for me to avoid. I don't eat them, I don't have a reaction, the end. I can touch, smell, and be around them without a problem, luckily.

Latex, on the other hand, is a tough one - and for most people the reaction is only skin deep, leaving an uncomfortable, painful, and itchy rash wherever the latex contact occurred. Much like my random food reactions, latex allergies can show up after a person has used or come into contact with latex before - so a person can use latex products for years without showing any signs or symptoms, and then one day their body simply gives up on the concept and the rash appears.

Sure enough, Hubby's been having a problem for a while now, ever since he started working at the dreaded Golden Arches. His hands have been covered in that tell-tale rash, and after using a pair of elbow-length gloves the other night his arms developed the same thing within an hour, if that long. Today, he went to see someone about it, and sure enough was informed he has an allergy to latex. Luckily, the store (I hesitate to call it a "restaurant") does stock non-latex gloves, and the latex gloves they have aren't powdered so people who wear them can't spread latex particles by snapping or blowing on their gloves, but he's still probably going to come into contact with latex at work. Worse yet, the only way to lessen the reaction other than taking a daily antihistamine is by trying to lessen the body's reaction with steroids. Which means a constant visit back to the doctor whenever the reaction becomes something his body can't tolerate.

This means that we have to watch what sorts of latex come into the house and ensure that he doesn't handle it, just to avoid tempting the beast to rear its ugly head.

Luckily, some forms of latex-free items are readily available in major retailers. And I don't mean gloves. *Wink*


  1. Oh man, that is SCARY! I have several allergies as well (all trees to some degree, all pollens to some degree, animal dander, and anaphylaxis to tree nuts [which, like you, is starting to bleed over into fruits, boo!]), and they are sometimes terrifying and deadly.

    I'm glad your husband found out quickly and that there are other options for him. Latex is a pretty bad allergy! Oh, and I guess it's time to go adult fun shopping. ;)

  2. I'm glad he did, too. He hasn't had a worse reaction than a rash so far, so we're hoping to keep it that way!
    Sorry your allergies are heading toward fruits. Mine have begun including some nuts! It's crazy, if it keeps up too long I'm going to be restricted to meat, dairy, lettuce and apples. :P

  3. Haha, apples is actually one that I can't touch anymore. ;) I read something about oral allergy syndrome (in fact, I should make a post about that someday), and it makes total sense that allergies to certain fruits and veggies are heightened if you're (a) allergic to some things already, including certain nuts and (b) when pollen season is at its worst.

    Anyway... maybe that'll help! :) And I hope your husband doesn't have anything worse -- now THAT would suck. :(