For many men, allergies are just a fact of life. But what to do if one has an allergic reaction to latex, the material that most condoms are made of? Condoms, of course, are an essential step to engaging in safe sex, making an allergy a real problem to manage. But a penis latex allergy is no reason to risk contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Luckily, for men that deal with this affliction there are many non-latex condom options on the market.
How to Detect a Latex Allergy
Only a doctor can officially diagnose a latex allergy, but there are many way to detect a man may be experiencing an adverse reaction to this material.
1) Burning Sensation: One of the most common symptoms of a latex allergy is a burning sensation on the penis. If the burning discomfort goes away once the condom is removed, it may be a sign that an allergy is present. However, if the discomfort lingers well after the condom removal, it may be a sign that the burning is being caused by something else.
2) Penis rash: If you’ve repeatedly exposed your penis to latex, you may develop a penis rash from the allergy. Typically, the symptoms of a latex allergy will grow more severe with increase exposure to the material. In other words, the more often you exposure your penis to latex, the more severe your symptoms will be each time your penis comes in contact with latex. After repeated use, a penis rash may occur from latex condoms. A rash caused by a latex allergy will typically be red or pink and may flake when scratched.
3) Blisters: After extended exposure to latex, a man may experience blisters on his penis from his allergy. These unsightly sores are caused by the immune system attempting to defending itself against the latex, which, because of the allergy, it has deemed a threat to the body. These blisters will usually be water-filled and can be very painful. Under no circumstances should these sores be popped, as the fluid inside, histamine, can be spread to other parts of the body.
4) Anaphylaxis: This is the most severe reaction to latex and happens after repeated, prolonged exposure to latex or other allergen. In this situation, a man will experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing as well as a swelling of the lips, tongue and throat. Additionally, one might experience a rapid heartbeat and chest pain. In this instance, it is essentially to immediately be seen by a medical professional. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can constrict airways, leading to death.
Luckily, dealing with a latex allergy is as simple as avoiding latex. Because so many men and women deal with this allergy, many non-latex condom options have been developed. Many condom brands carry polyurethane options, which many people prefer due to their odorless nature and ability to be used with any lubricant. While polyurethane condoms should prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, there is little clinical data available on their ability to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Another latex alternative are lambskin condom. As the name suggests, these contraceptives are made from a lamb’s intestinal membrane. Users of these condoms claim they have a more natural feel than latex and polyurethane options and the closest feel to not wearing a condom at all. However, it’s important to note that while these prevent pregnancy, they not protect against sexually transmitted disease.
Soothing skin after an allergic reaction
Even after a latex condom has been taken off, a man with a penis latex allergy can still experience uncomfortable side effects in the penis area. In this instance, a penis health creme (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can help soothe the delicate private area and relieve allergic reaction symptoms. When selecting a creme, look out for vitamins known for their healing properties, like Vitamin A, C, D and E.