Amber's Story

All my life I have had a problem with band-aids. I would get red welts and we always thought it was due to the adhesive. The welt from the band-aid always took longer to heal than what the band-aid was originally covering.

In 2009 I had surgery, informed the medical staff of my issue with adhesive - so none was used, but I still had an itchy rash on the arm they operated on. Found out years later that my surgeon used latex gloves as they were his preference.

Fast forward several years - I am managing an orthodontic practice and regularly help with patients. One day I was performing an intra-oral scan and the doctor came in to speak with the patient as I was finishing up. When I took the gloves off the doctor noticed that my hands were flaming red. He asked if that had ever happened before - I responded that my hands are always red when I take off the gloves and that I itch everywhere, but that I had always thought the itch was psychological because I couldn't scratch with gloves on.

The doctor looked me over - my face was pink and blotchy, my ears were red and itchy, and when we pulled up my sleeves and the hem of my top there were hives everywhere. The doctor said "Yep, you're allergic to latex. You need to avoid it whenever possible because the reaction will just continue to get worse."

He wasn't wrong - I cannot even touch a rubber band without breaking out in hives and itching all over. Fortunately respiratory related symptoms have been very minor so far - just a tightness in my chest. Now I do everything I can to avoid latex.

Amber