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How do I know if I'm allergic to Latex Condoms?

by Bill Haney March 06, 2019

Do condoms make you itchy, irritated or even sick in extreme cases? If you think you might be allergic to latex, you should probably see your doctor to know for sure.

Am I allergic to Latex?


The following information is not intended as a substitute for the advice from your Healthcare Professional or Parent.

Re-posted Jan 22, 2016 - by Bill Haney CEO of Rip n Roll - America's Condom Superstore

Since we opened our doors way back in 1997 we have constantly had the latex allergy question asked. Men and women both have complained that condoms make them itchy, irritated or even sick in extreme cases. All I can say is if you think you might be allergic, you should probably see your doctor to know for sure. In the meantime You should definitely stay away from latex condoms. If you are worried, there are many alternatives and non latex condoms on the market that you can use instead of latex. Below is information to help clear up many of the questions we continue to get at Rip n Roll.

What is latex made of and why am I allergic to it?

Latex is a flexible, elastic and relatively inexpensive material, it is a naturally produced rubber from the rubber tree. In the wild, the rubber tree, found in Africa and Southeast Asia, will grow to heights of 100 to 130 feet, and can live up to 100 years. Its most famous feature is the milky white sap, known as latex, which flows freely from the tree when a sliver of bark is removed. A rubber tree, also referred to as rubberwood, can be tapped for latex once it reaches approximately six years of age. found in Africa. Latex can be found in condoms, balloons, rubber bands, gloves, certain toys, Halloween masks, medical equipment, Dental Dams, tool handles etc, etc. You can Google "Latex Products" and see there are hundreds if not thousands of products containing latex. Most reactions to latex show up as dermatitis. Some individuals with latex allergies can have a life-threatening reaction to latex exposure, especially if they are undergoing surgery and latex gloves are used during the operation. Individuals with latex allergy can also be allergic to certain foods that are seen similarly by the body’s immune system. Likewise, if you are already allergic to certain foods, you may be at high risk for developing a latex allergy. The following foods can trigger a latex-like allergic reaction because the proteins in them mimic latex proteins as they break down in the body:

Banana, Fig, Kiwi, Peach, Grape, Celery, Papaya, Tomato, Nectarine, Avocado, Melon, Potato, Cherry, Rye, Strawberry, Wheat, Plum, Chestnut, Pineapple, Hazelnut,

Those who know they are allergic to latex should consult their doctor to see if they have this type of ‘cross-allergy’. It should be made clear that latex-based paint is made from synthetic latex and does not trigger natural rubber latex allergy.

Allergic reaction to latex condoms symptoms.

  • Red, itchy rash where your skin touched latex
  • Swelling right around the site
  • Sneezing, runny nose, teary eyes
  • Wheezing ...

If you think you may be allergic to latex below are 3 common symptoms to look for.

Irritant contact dermatitis. The least threatening type of latex reaction, classified as a non-allergenic skin reaction. It usually occurs as a result of repeated exposure to chemicals in latex condom and results in dryness, itching, burning, scaling, and lesions of the skin.

Allergic contact dermatitis. A delayed reaction to additives used in latex processing, which results in the same type of reactions as irritant contact dermatitis (dryness, itching, burning, scaling, and lesions of the skin). The reaction, though, is more severe, spreads to more parts of the body, and lasts longer. This is more common with individuals who are constantly exposed to latex like latex gloves and latex balloons.

Immediate allergic reaction (latex hypersensitivity). The most serious reaction to latex. It can show up as rhinitis with hay fever-like symptoms, conjunctivitis (pink eye), cramps, hives, and severe itching. It is rare, but symptoms may progress to include rapid heartbeat, tremors, chest pain, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, anaphylactic shock, or potentially, death.

Again, your medical doctor can perform allergy tests to confirm or rule out latex as the allergen culprit. Your doctor may suspect that your symptoms are related to a latex sensitivity if you have a history of exposure followed rapidly by the appearance of symptoms.

Allergic reaction to latex condoms treatment

Allergic reactions to latex can range from skin redness and itching to more serious symptoms, such as hives or gastrointestinal problems. True allergic reactions to latex rarely progress to the life-threatening conditions such as low blood pressure, difficulty breathing or rapid heart rate. However, if left untreated, these conditions could potentially result in death.

If you experience severe symptoms, call your doctor or 911 immediately, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Allergic reactions may be treated by removal of the latex product and drug treatment according to the type of symptoms developing. If the symptoms are irritant contact dermatitis, antihistamine and/or corticosteroid medicines may be enough to treat symptoms. Severe reactions should also be treated with epinephrine, intravenous fluids, and other support by hospital or emergency personnel.

If you have a severe latex allergy, it is important for you to wear a MedicAlert bracelet and carry an emergency epinephrine syringe.There is no cure for latex allergy, so the best treatment for this condition is prevention.

Men and women both can suffer from Latex Allergies so guys and girls, see your doctor if you think this might be affecting you. Your love life will thank you for it

Bill Haney
Bill Haney


Bill is President / CEO of RipNRoll Inc. and a regular contributor at Entrepreneur, Businessman and Father, Bill has kept up his goal of "Protecting the Planet one condom at a time" since 1996

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