At some point, every man has an itchy penis, and for any number of reasons. For some men, the list of reasons may include an allergic reaction to latex. Since practicing proper penis health may at times require wearing latex condoms, a man with a latex allergy may be presented with a special challenge: how to keep from having an incredibly itchy penis (or worse) while still practicing appropriate sexual health care?
Although latex sounds like a synthetic product, it is actually a form of rubber that is derived from the sap of the rubber tree and therefore is a fairly natural product.
Latex is commonly used in a wide range of products. For example, rubber gloves such as those often used to protect the hands while washing dishes tend to be made of latex. The balloons at a child’s birthday party may be composed of latex, and latex is typically used in the manufacture of swim caps. The elastic bands that help secure briefs to the waist are often latex-based as well.
The sap from which latex is derived contains a number of proteins. For most people, these proteins are completely harmless.
Sometimes, however, a person may have an immune system that misidentifies one or more of these proteins. When it comes into contact with the body, the immune system doesn’t “read” the new presence as a protein; instead, it interprets it as something else, such as a virus or a form of bacteria.
Once that “mis-alert” has been received, the body goes into action to protect itself from what it thinks is a dangerous intruder. It sends in the troops: antibodies and antihistamines, which are charged with ridding the body of this invader.
But since the invader is a harmless protein, the intended protective response creates an allergic reaction instead. In many (perhaps most) cases, this is mild: itchy skin or hives. But the reaction can be more severe and in some cases can even be life threatening.
Determining if one is allergic
Somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the population has some form of latex allergy. Most people do not find out that they fall into this category until after having a negative reaction to latex exposure. Sometimes a skin test or blood test can determine likely latex sensitivity; however, it is unusual to look for a latex allergy unless one has already experienced symptoms consistent with this condition.
If one’s latex allergy is very mild, the occasional use of a latex condom may cause nothing more than some itchiness, which a quality penis health cream can help address. For those with more severe cases, there fortunately are non-latex condoms available now. These are typically made from polyurethane, polyisoprene, synthetic elastomers or other materials.
A World Health Organization report found that latex condoms are a bit more reliable, so men with only a slight latex allergy may prefer to use them and risk a mildly itchy penis. As mentioned, most cases of penis itch respond very well to the regular use of a first-rate penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). When that cream contains a high-end emollient (such as Shea butter), combined with a natural hydrator like vitamin E, its ability to alleviate itchiness is heightened appreciably. Some men worry that the tightness of a condom may impact blood flow, so a cream that includes L-arginine may be of benefit. This ingredient aids in the production of nitric oxide, which in turn helps keep penis blood vessels open and the blood, flowing. If the cream also contains vitamin C, that’s an added plus, as this vitamin is an important structural component of blood vessels.