Latex and Other Common Allergies to Medical Supplies
While the exact number of those affected is unknown, it is understood in the medical community that the most common allergy to medical supplies today is from latex. It is the main reason why any medical supply company employee or website worth its salt will ask consumers if they have a latex allergy or will inform the public of items containing latex. Latex can be found in many different types of products from gloves, incontinence products, catheters, urological products, and ostomy products.
It is becoming more and more common for medical supplies to be made without latex but in some instances, latex is preferred in manufacturing for various reasons. For most mainstream medical supplies (catheters, urinary supplies, ostomy products, etc) there are latex-free alternatives usually made by the same manufacturer to the exact same specifics as the original latex-containing product. If you ever have questions, you can always contact our customer service.
Knowing the symptoms of latex allergy is the first step in determining if you are allergic. Symptoms include skin irritation and redness, itching, dermatitis that causes scaling or lesions in the skin, hives, trouble breathing, and heart problems. If you think you are having an allergic reaction to latex, stop using the product immediately and either contact your doctor or call 911. Allergies of any kind may start off as a minor irritation but can become worse if not attended to. If you know you have an allergy to latex, it is important to let your doctor or medical supply company know so they can state it in your medical records. It is also recommended that your wear an alert bracelet stating latex allergy in case of an emergency where you are unable to speak.
Other allergies can occur when using medical supplies such as an allergy to aloe vera found in some incontinence bladder pads and products, an allergy to the paper pulp used in some incontinence products, allergies to the glues/adhesives in certain medical grade tapes, bandages, and adhesives, and allergies to certain ingredients in skin wipes, ointments, and creams. Usually the result of these allergies is a form of contact dermatitis or skin reaction. As with a latex allergy, it is important to notify your doctor if you have these allergies. Reading the ingredient list on products before you buy them may prevent unknowingly using a product you are allergic to.