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Putting on blue latex gloves

Understanding Latex Sensitivity

Dustin Hoffman must have said it best. “There’s a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what’s the problem?”
Depending on your proclivities, the word latex brings up several associations. For the sexually inclined, thoughts immediately go to condoms and rubber clothing. For the less exotic, latex recalls rubber gloves and cleaning. If you are a dentist, you may recall catheters.
Naturally occurring rubber latex is derived from the sap of a rubber tree (of course!) otherwise known as Hevea Brasil ensues, which is found in Southeast Asia and Africa. Allergic reactions may occur when people who are sensitive to the proteins in natural rubber latex are exposed to products which contain the material.

Where Is Natural Rubber Latex Found?
Latex is common in dental and medical supplies like intravenous tubing, disposable gloves, stethoscopes, syringes, catheters, and bandages. As for consumer products, latex is found in handbags, athletic shoes, underwear leg and waist bands balloons, tools, tires, and, of course, condoms. Latex can also be found in baby products, such as baby bottles, pacifiers, nipples and rubber toys.

Triggers
Allergic reactions occur when latex allergy sufferers come into contact with latex. Some of the more common, and less embarrassing, ways of incurring these reactions are blowing up a balloon or undergoing a dental or medical procedure in which the doctors are wearing latex gloves.

Food Triggers
People with latex allergies can have food allergies as well. If you have latex allergies, you may also be adversely affected by apples, potatoes, bananas, papaya, melons, celery, carrots, kiwi, chestnuts and avocado.

Symptoms
Usually, allergy symptoms do not occur right away. In most cases, it takes several exposures for the signs to reveal themselves. (Virgins rejoice!) However, once they develop, symptoms include itching, hives, and runny or stuffy nose. Asthma- like symptoms, such as wheezing and tightening of the chest, may develop. Reactions will appear within minutes after coming into contact with latex. Anaphylaxis is the most serious result of a latex allergy and is characterized by breathing difficulty and drop in blood pressure.
If you wear rubber gloves, you may be in contact with chemicals that cause “allergic contact dermatitis.” This can cause blisters on the back of hands and eczema occurring 1to 3 days after wearing gloves.
And perhaps most distressingly: You don’t even have to come into contact with latex products to develop a reaction, Asthmatic reactions and anaphylactic can be caused just by inhaling proteins in the air caused by the powder contained in latex gloves and aerosols.

Treatment And Management
Sufferers of latex allergies should avoid coming into contact with anything containing latex and avoid consuming potentially risky foods. Doctors and dentists should always be informed of allergy before performing the treatment. Clinics and hospitals have increasingly begun to feature latex-safe areas and to use non-latex and low protein latex gloves.
Those with a latex allergy should wear a medical alert ID and carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of emergencies. Allergists can provide additional information and recommendations for those affected by latex allergies.

Woman sneezing into white napkin

Environmental Allergies and Dark Eye Circles

Are the dark circles under your eyes getting you down? Well, hear this! It seems that there is a whole army of people with dark circles under their eyes who wear these features as badges of honor. Dark circle mantras include,”Those dark circles under my eyes are not from being tired, they’re from being awesome.” Benicio Del Toro defends his dark circles by saying, “Before I was ever in high school, I had dark circles under my eyes. I have dark circles under my eyes, deal with it.”

But if you don’t feel ready to bin your concealer, here are some facts that may be helpful. Dark circles under the eyes can usually be attributed to exhaustion, age, or illness. But those dark circles can also be a product of environmental allergies and can be fought accordingly.

Seasonal Allergies
Allergies, like hay fever, cosmetic allergies, food allergies and allergies from the workplace are all likely to cause dark circles. The blood vessels under the eyes to swell and rub the thin skin of the eyes, resulting in a darker color. Blocked nasal passages can also contribute to the formation of dark circles as the veins connecting the nose and eyes become dilated and dark. In the winter season, pollen from certain flowers can cause allergies which create dark circles.

Environmental Allergies
Environmental allergens include dust, mildew, mold and smoke. Pet dander can also cause allergies which lead to dark circles. Environmental allergies can lead to congestion which accelerates blood flow to the nose. Because of the delicate texture of the skin under the eyes, the excess blood flow creates a purplish color and makes the blood vessels around the eyes larger, creating a drier hue. Add to that the fact that allergy sufferers suffer adrenal fatigue and don’t sleep properly.

Food Allergies
Although the way foods affect allergy sufferers differ from person to person, the most common culprits are peas, chocolate, citrus, mustard, peanuts, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Foods with high sodium and potassium contact can also lead to dark circles.

Remedies for Dark Circles

  • Eye Cream: A¬†topical cream containing ingredients like Vitamin A, cucumber extract or green tea extract can be effective on dark circles.
  • Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress on the eyes can reduce the appearance of dark circles by reducing inflammation, Place them on the eyes for about 15 minutes to affect a change.
  • Cucumber slices: Cucumbers are known to have natural bleaching properties and their pulp contains and solution that reduces skin swelling and restores texture. Apply cold slices to eyes for about 10 minutes and rinse with cold water. Potato slices and moist chamomile tea bags can also be effective.
  • Medication: While seasonal allergies can usually be effectively treated with OTC meds, allergy sufferers are also known to be deficient in folic acid, B6 and B12. Multivitamins can help to restore levels of these vitamins to the system.