Are reusable rubber gloves associated with latex allergy?

Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc., 3053 Melbourne, Australia.
Contact Dermatitis (Impact Factor: 3.75). 12/2012; 67(6):381-382. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2012.02136.x
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Allergies to latex or 'rubber chemicals' in medical or other occupationally used gloves are not uncommon. In contrast, very few articles have reported on latex allergy (type I) or allergic contact sensitization to additives (type IV) associated with household gloves, in spite of some 44 million pairs sold in Germany in, e.g., 2006. We seek to determine the frequency of allergies to household gloves by providing own data and we reviewed the literature. The study was based on 105083 consultations of patients with suspected contact allergy (Type IV) in the Information Network of Departments of Dermatology (IVDK) in Germany in the years 1995 to 2006 and on the PubMed databases (last access 7/2008). 1221 patients were identified in whom protective gloves were considered as a possible cause of contact dermatitis and who did not work in occupations associated with above average risk of contact allergy to rubber chemicals. In 178 cases positive reactions to rubber components were reported, while 13 additional cases reacted only to a previously used rubber glove brand, but not to commercial allergens. In the literature only two publications on type I and two on type IV reactions were found in which allergies to rubber household gloves were explicitly reported. Allergies to rubber household gloves seem to be rare. Factors presumably counteracting contact sensitization by household gloves, compared to occupational use, comprise short intermediate use, loose fitting and the incorporation of e.g. an inner cotton surface reducing skin contact with rubber chemicals.
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    ABSTRACT: There are few little exact epidemiological data on the prevalence and incidence of latex allergy, partly because the diagnostic tools are unsatisfactory and partly because the epidemiological study planning often does not fulfill criteria of good praxis. On the basis of present data, latex allergy in normal population is low, under 1%. Known risk groups such as health care workers, atopic subjects, people with hand dermatitis, and especially spina bifida patients show higher prevalence numbers. The common serological cross-reactivity between latex and a great number of different fruits and vegetables is bound to common plant pathogenesis-related proteins and storage proteins. Despite positive serological tests, only about half of NRL-allergic subjects have clinical symptoms after eating cross-reacting foods.
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    Methods 05/2003; 30(1):106-106. DOI:10.1016/S1046-2023(03)00023-9 · 3.65 Impact Factor

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