Skin Conditions/latex allergy


I'm glad you're here to answer this question, though I'm not sure if you can help without being a doctor, but I'd love your opinion anyways.

Long story short: over a period of several years I was finally able to conclude of my own that I am having a reaction to latex gloves, or something having to do with latex gloves (either the latex or the dust they use of the inside of the gloves). I have an awful doctor who, before I realized what was causing the problem I was having, took a look at my hands, shrugged and said he had no idea what my "rash" was. He peeked on google images with me there and found one that appeared similar and said, "I think this is it. Maybe caused by your IBS".  I was having two distinct symptoms at the time and asked what the other one was and he told me it (and I quote) "MIGHT" be related. (might. not IS, but might). he had no real clue, and did not suggest finding out.  I did my own tests and realized that the "rash" only occurs about two days after I use rubber gloves.  I have tested this theory so many times now I am POSITIVE it's the gloves. I started worrying that I might have an allergy to latex and started wondering, since my symptoms get worse every time, if I should get this professionally tested in case they ever need to open me up and use latex gloves. I wondered if it could affect me. SO, when I was seeing my specialist about an unrelated issue on my way into surgery I told them that I was concerned about a latex allergy and should he be using latex gloves. i told him I had not yet had an allergy test. He looked at my files and immediately came back with, "you have contact dermatitis. nothing to worry about."  First off, WHEN and WHERE did I get that diagnosis 9it's not what the doc originally told me it was, and secondly I have had SO many different symptoms on my hands how could a single diagnosis be made without seeing them all? SO, I did my own research online and learned there are TWO sorts of dermatitis...allergic and non allergic.   I think I have the allergic kind, and if I did should I go back in and beg my doctor to ave this confirmed?  My surgery was cancelled that day but is coming up again soon and I don't want to have a big reaction or something on the INSIDE of me....

my symptoms:
Two or three days after wearing latex gloves my hands first start by burning badly under water, with no visible signs. THEN they get red spots all over, very light in color with no clear borders. Then a day or so after that the spots get so itchy i can't even sleep at night.  Recently to add to that the spots get a little black spec of a dot in the middle. Some are more brown and farther under the skin, and other the dot comes right to the surface of the red patch and literally can be picked off.  BUT the more upsetting part is this:
with prolonged exposure to the gloves (such as using them for washing dishes daily) there is one more symptom. My thumbs will, for lack of a better word, "deflate". They'll get soft on the tips like a deflated balloon and I have decreased feeling in them. and the pain is so intense that I can't touch anything with them. Then after several days they peel like three layers of skin off.. This cycle repeats roughly every 3 weeks.  The good news is that when I discontinue continual use of the latex then I no longer have this happen, all i get in the spots, dots and burning under water, and itching.  I looked online and it seems to me that this is an allergic reaction type dermatitis, and not the usual description of dermatitis to begin with. Any thoughts? should I nudge my doctor to be a doctor and get this tested?


First of all, sorry for the delay in answering, I was a bit under the weather this weekend.

It certainly sounds like you have a latex allergy. The protein in the latex powder is usually the cause. You can use powder free latex gloves, and if you don't have a reaction to them, then you will know for sure.

I would definitely recommend you see an allergist. Your doctor can recommend one likely, so their office will have good access to your results.  

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Zac Hawkins


I am not a Dermatologist, but I have done extensive research on numerous skin disorders. Here are some of the skin conditions I have researched, Skin Treatments. I would be happy to share my knowledge with those in need of help.


I am owner of Skin and Scalp which focuses on treatment options and prevention advice for a wide variety of skin and scalp disorders.

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Decades of involvement in research and development in our parent corporations skin and hair care company.

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