Latex Allergy Stories

Tell Your Latex Allergy Story

The best way for the world to understand the severity of a Latex allergy is for everyone to hear what those suffering from the allergy go through. Read the stories below written by people who suffer from allergic reactions to Latex and comments by those who advocate change.


Currently, 182 people have submitted stories or comments.



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Amber Johnson: Tucson, Az


I first noticed an allergy to latex after condom use. Now I am finding out some feminine hygiene pads can have latex. Now, looking back on dental visits, I would always be wheezy, and have trouble breathing after exams and dental dams. Just the smell of Latex makes me extremely nauseous. I had to quit my gym membership, because I could not figure out why I was feeling so lousy after my workouts: I would be dizzy, nauseous, have mucus in the throat and chest. I knew it wasn't from the workouts themselves. I finally asked the front desk how long it would be until the horrible smell from their new rubber floor mats would subside. They looked at me in shock, and said the floor mats were three years old. Thats when I knew there had to be latex in the mats and equipment, and that I really was allergic. I could practically taste it in the air. I tried a different gym location, and then a new company, but symptoms were no better. This was very discouraging. My boyfriend just got a new Mountain bike today, and I now have a terrible headache from the smell of the tires since it has been in our house. There are so many different products that you don't even realize they could the reasons you have been feeling bad your whole life! Thinking of all the times my skin has been itchy, with hives and blisters.. I am now afraid I will aquire the fruit allergy, as my Dad has the adult-onset fruit allergy in a bad way. We all have to be our own advocates for our health, and I will now continue to research and be aware what I come in contact with. I feel terrible for those people who have truly become disabled from latex.


Sharon Haughton: Newberry, FL

My daughter is allergic to Latex, having had an anaphylactic reaction 20 years ago. She had to give up career as an xray tech to avoid exposure to latex in the hospital. Even today if she eats in a restaurant using latex she experiences hoarse voice, flushed face and chest and sometimes difficulty breathing. It is difficult to find safe places for her to eat, visit and travel.


lis kierstein: Copenhagen K, Denmark

I am a tattoo artist and am currently working on a EU Standard about tattoo hygiene and would like to ban latex products from tattoo studios in both my country Denmark and in the whole EU. We only have a few left in Denmark who due to different problems still uses latex gloves for tattooing. We have now found a Danish Company Gleco A/S which produces a new Neoprene Sensitive glove as smooth and easy to use as latex.


Melanie Evans: San Antonio, Texas

My daughter has a life-threatening allergy to latex. Any type of exposure, airborne or touch causes, sore/scratchy throat, difficult breathing, anaphylaxis, hives, headache, swelling, etc. Doctors do not know what to do! The list of medication she is taking or has taken is ridiculous and most of them do not work. She has had a non-stop headache for almost 3 years that has been untreatable. She is now homeschooled but exposure is almost impossible to avoid. She is quite angry because schools and other public places will post about peanuts but NOTHING about latex. Then there's the cost of Epi-Pens! Something has to be done.


Selah Evans: San Antonio, Texas


In 2012 I discovered that I was allergic to latex . The very first time I had a reaction to latex, I had anaphylaxis. Since 2012 my allergy has become worse, and my symptoms have become more severe. In 2014 I got a new symptom, which is a severe headache. For almost 3 years now I have lived with this headache everyday of my life. When I am exposed to latex, airborne or by touch, I have this severe headache, sore/scratchy throat that eventually closes up, difficulty breathing, dizziness, hives, and swelling. I have also had 3 doctors diagnose me with PTSD because of all the stress that comes with my allergy. I am on a ridiculous amount of medication, some to help me sleep at night, and some that do not even do anything to help me. My severe allergy and the symptoms that come with it make it very hard for me to try and be a normal teenager. I had to stop going to public high school and become homeschooled because I was getting sick so often. The public school system did nothing to protect me which is infuriating because they will do anything to protect a person with a peanut allergy, so why is my latex allergy any different or less important? I have been to numerous amount of doctors, and no one knows what to do, or how to make my allergy any better. Many people and doctors do not believe my symptoms which is very frustrating for me. Trying to be a normal 16 year old is impossible for me because of my allergy. I cannot attend high school, go to any resturant without the fear of having anaphylaxis, and now that I am starting to look at and apply for colleges, I have been told that I cannot pursue the career of being a nurse because of my allergy. Am I just supposed to have a job I do not want or like because of my allergy? How do I know that I will be safe from exposure at any job I may have in the future? How do I know I will be safe at college?


Angela Conigliaro: Port saint Lucie, Florida


I'm 34 just developed a latex allergy. Started with band-aid.Turned into blister tiny bubbles under my skin on my finger with band-aid. It turned red itchy and eventually opened into tiny cuts all over area. It got infected from not being able to wear band-aids. I saw a doctor who gave me clavamox amoxicillin. On my follow up visit my doctor used his latex gloves to grab and examine my finger which was about healed. 3 days later.As I grab my brand new cell phone and pen to look up stuff I realize exactly what happened with band-aid happened but days later after doctor grabbed my hand and finger in same exact spot with his glove I quickly treated the area after a day of gauze trying to figure this out, with cortisone. It started to help the area. However now my other hand was showing signs of red itchy spots bubbles under skin.So I grab my cell phone and stylists pen and look up more on latex allergy. I started to discover how many more products other than gloves and band-aids I had to worry about.My brand new cell phone case! My rubber grip on pens. I did see some significant factors in my research, one was common problem of having a urinary track infection about two years back I had a bad one. Doctor gave me strong med that gave me itchy skin after bathing with toxic body washes and face soaps and lotions. I switched meds and switched to all natural soaps that did stop very bad itchy skin all over...Now two years later I take strong med and I developed an even bigger reaction to laex. Just something for others to consider is what medications have been taken? And did problem occurred after or existing. Anyone else with UTI experience this? I did find that significant because that's when I developed skin rash from toxic bath soaps


Sandra Figueroa: Los Angles, CA


I had been to the ER numerous times before I found out that the restaurants were poisoning me with latex. I was even diagnosed with IBS and put of disability. I had severe anxiety and panic attacks. The pain in my body was horrible. The doctors did not realize that it was due to latex allergy. They did not make the connection. One doctor wanted to prescribe anti-depressants. Now that I am careful where I eat, my health is better than last year when California restaurants started using gloves for food prep. It's scary to leave in fear of being exposed to latex from everything I eat. I fear of even dying. The last time I had a bad reaction from a restaurant, my heart was affected. I had tachycardia. It was one of the worse reactions.


Anna Eastman: Mason City, Iowa


After 10 years in nursing I developed a Class 1 Latex Allergy. Always a false negative, always negative blood work, always told its anxiety. One ER physician listened and saved my life- he figured out the medication I needed so I could live. Another dermatologist figured out an oral daily medication that would help keep the reactions at bay. Despite taking over 4 years, now I am able to function and work again in the profession (albetit with limitations) I so dearly love.


Gina Palermo: Houston, Texas


I have had to leave several restaurants due to the use of latex gloves in the kitchen. I also owns have food allergies due to the latex allergy from being exposed to latex so much recently. The protein in latex is similar to the protein in SEVERAL fruits and vegetables, therefore when I consume some of those foods, I have an anaphylaxis reaction. I strongly believe latex gloves need to be banned in restaurants.


Mary Beth Kennedy: Manassas, VA


I developed my Type I allergy after working for 12 years in NICU and L&D. I never experienced any contact dermatitis or any "warning" signs. My first reaction was anaphylactic and every reaction I have had since is fully systemic. I immediately became unable to continue with my nursing career or enter any hospital or medical environment. This rapidly progressed to not entering any public facility at all due to the ubiquity of latex. I have ended up in the ER after exposure to the obvious things - gloves, balloons, rubber bands - but also after exposure to the lesser understood things - non-slip rug backing, elastic in clothing, licking envelope adhesive, conveyor belts in grocery stores, etc. And equally as dangerous are the cross-reactive foods (foods that have proteins so similar to the latex protein that the body mounts a full response, as if there were a latex exposure). There are currently 38 foods on the cross-reactive list, many of them hidden in many foods. Bananas, avocadoes, chestnuts, kiwi (the four worst offenders), potatoes, tomatoes, peaches (and most "pitted" fruits)...the list is long. My children like to say "if its healthy, its on the list". I have read the other stories here and suffice to say that this disease process is completely life altering. I have suffered with it for almost 20 years now and can honestly say that the ignorance of the public and the misinformation in the medical community itself has changed little, if at all.


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