Prevention of Latex Allergies Among the Dental Team
It is important that all staff protect themselves against breaches of the skin barrier that can result from frequent use of skin cleansers, particularly if individuals have a history of asthma, hay fever or flexural eczema, or if damage to their skin commonly occurs as a result of irritants as these can predispose individuals to latex allergies.
Select powder-free low protein latex or nitrile gloves. (Refer to the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual  for appropriate glove use and selection.)
Use suitable handcare products at the end of a session, particularly if the skin has a tendency to dryness.
Ensure that staff are aware of the risks associated with natural rubber latex (NRL) use [2,3].
If you suspect that a member of staff has an allergy to NRL arrange a referral to a dermatologist or immunologist either through a general medical practitioner or through your local Occupational Health Service.
Sources of Information
- National Infection Prevention and Control Manual. Health Protection Scotland (2015) (www.nipcm.hps.scot.nhs.uk)
- Latex Allergies (webpage). Health and Safety Executive (www.hse.gov.uk/skin/employ/latex.htm)
- Latex Allergy Support Group. Dental Practice (webpage)(www.lasg.org.uk/guidance/dental-practice)