Natural rubber latex is a substance that comes from rubber tree sap. Certain individuals can develop hypersensitivity to the proteins that are present in natural rubber latex. Allergic reactions can result from this hypersensitivity. Symptoms of these reactions can include hives, a stuffy or running nose and itching. In other cases, victims can experience symptoms akin to those of asthma, such as wheezing or difficulty breathing. One of the main benefits of latex free medical tapes is the freedom they provide from these reactions. Rigid strapping tapes in particular traditionally use a strong latex based adhesive. As a result, athletes using this tape are at particular risk of developing or experiencing latex allergies.
Athletic tapes or bandages must be worn next to the skin while training or competing. Even for non athletes, tape worn to support an injured joint must be worn for periods of days or weeks to ensure full recovery. Without the benefits of latex free tapes, these individuals must wear barrier products like non woven fabric between their skin and the tape. These products will prevent direct contact with the latex used in the adhesive of traditional tapes. However, the support athletes will gain from this type of arrangement will fall short of that obtained from the use of latex free tapes that they can use in direct contact with their skins. The use of latex free adhesives in the more recent versions of rigid strapping tape like DynaPro’s Rigid Athletic Tape has made these benefits available to a much wider range of users of medical or athletic tape.
These benefits are also particularly important in the case of tape that are meant to be worn for several days at a time, such as kinesiology tape.
Benefits of Latex Free Adhesive – Athletic Tapes
The benefits of latex free products will include freedom from issues such as those mentioned below:
In mild latex allergy cases, symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose and hives. They can also include wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. In most cases, these symptoms begin within minutes of exposure to latex.
Direct contact with latex can cause skin problems as well as the breathing issues mentioned above. The skin problems may include symptoms such as itching, redness or swelling of the portion of skin that makes contact with the latex. Of course, these reactions may be particularly pertinent to users of products like traditional medical or athletic tapes.
More Serious Reactions
In the most serious cases, sufferers from latex allergies may experience symptoms such as severe breathing difficulty and significant falls in blood pressure, causing shock. In rare cases, these reactions can even result in death.
Latex Free Benefits Of Other Products
Many other products used in sports medicine have traditionally used latex as an integral part of their design. These include orthopedic braces, for example. The introduction of latex free alternatives to these products has brought benefits analogous to those described above for the users of latex free athletic tapes. The replacement of traditional latex gloves with latex free alternatives has brought similar advantages.