Contact Dermatitis: Rubber…

Contact Dermatitis to Rubber is a very common reaction to rubber products that come in direct contact with the skin.  As time goes on there are fewer rubber type products used in industry for clothing and shoe products.  Natural latex is also in this category of products.  Other components involved with production of rubber may be contactants, such as accelerators, activators, antidegradants, vulcanizing agents, retarders, reinforcing agents, fillers,  pigments, processing aids and blowing agents.

The two pictures above demonstrate a rubber reaction from shoes utilizing a rubber based label in the tongue of shoes manufactured in Vietnam.  Notice the nice correlation of the contact of the rubber label to the location of the contact dermatitis on both feet.  Latex gloves are also frequent causes of contact dermatitis and most of the time these contact reactions are caused by the accelerators.

ETIOLOGY:  Chronic exposure is a likely reason.  Surgeons, nurses, dentists, hairdressers and many others who wear rubber gloves for work purposes can often develop sensitivity to natural rubber latex and rubber accelerators.

TREATMENT:  Avoidance of exposure to these products is a must.  Use of alternative products, such as vinyl gloves, may be helpful.  If you have a history of latex or rubber allergies you should be sure to notify your doctors and dentists before examination or procedures are performed.  Avoid shoes made with rubber accelerators.  Test your shoes by wearing them for a few days and watch for the development of a vesicular eruption.  Treatment of active disease involves us of topical steroids creams, foams or sprays.  At times systemic steroids may be required to promote a more rapid clearance.  To read more about Contact Dermatitis to Rubber click HERE and HERE.