Condom Allergy? Latex Allergy!
Latex Allergies Has your skin ever felt itchy and burning after using a condom? Let’s learn more about ‘Latex Allergies’, just in case.
Latex, the main ingredient of condoms, is a natural substance extracted from rubber trees that can cause allergies. A latex allergy is fairly uncommon, affecting about 4 out of 100 people, and due to low awareness the symptoms can be easily overlooked. If you have had an experience where condoms were uncomfortable for no reason, it could be a good idea to have a look through the symptoms of a latex allergy, and how to deal with it, just in case.
Latex Allergy Checklist
Itching, rashes, and swelling around the genitals may occur on the skin in contact with latex condoms (often not immediately after contact. It is common for symptoms to start after 12 to 24 hours, so you may not make the connection to condoms.)
The genital area in particular can feel uncomfortable sensations such as burning and irritation. (Symptoms begin 1 to 4 days after contact, can spread to various parts of the body, and can last for a long time.)
Some people react to latex substances in the air, causing inflammation in the eyes, nose and respiratory system.
If you are allergic to foods such as chestnuts, apples, bananas, avocados, peaches, kiwis, nectarines, melons, figs, papaya, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, and/or carrots, you are also likely to be allergic to latex.
In rare cases, symptoms that require immediate treatment such as hives, shortness of breath, dizziness, and low blood pressure can appear throughout the body. A systemic allergic overreaction called "anaphylactic shock" can occur immediately upon contact and can lead to life-threatening situations, so medical help should be sought immediately.
Dealing with a Latex Allergy
A dermatologist or allergy specialist can assess your symptoms through patch tests and blood tests, and then prescribe the best course of treatment. Generally, treatment will include an antihistamine.
Use condoms that do not contain any latex. Condoms made of polyurethane or polyisoprene can be used safely by people with latex allergies. Choosing between the two materials comes down to personal preference, so try them out and find what feels best for you.
Not just condoms, but various everyday products also contain latex. From disposable gloves to bandages, erasers and pillows, make sure to check the product information for ‘natural latex’ before you buy or use these kinds of items. Keep reminding yourself until it becomes a habit.