Latex Allergy is a medical term encompassing a range of allergic reactions to the proteins present in natural rubber latex. Latex allergy generally develops after repeated exposure to products containing natural rubber latex. When latex-containing medical devices or supplies come in contact with mucous membranes, the membranes may absorb latex proteins. The immune system of some susceptible individuals produces antibodies that react immunologically with these antigenic proteins. As many items contain or are made from natural rubber, including shoe soles, elastic bands, rubber gloves, condoms, baby-bottle nipples, and balloons, there are many possible routes of exposure that may trigger a reaction. Persons with latex allergies may also have allergic reactions to some fruits (see Latex-Fruit Syndrome).
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