What Are the Symptoms of a Latex Condom Allergy?
Some of the more commonly experienced symptoms of allergies to latex condoms are usually mild. However, repeated exposure to latex--if you are allergic--can lead to a severe and sometimes fatal reaction. If you experience any symptoms of latex condom allergies, it is important to see your physician for alternatives in birth control methods, and to ensure that you understand the risk of exposure to an item that you are allergic to. An allergy to latex condoms can seem like a big problem, but there are alternatives to latex condoms.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
A very common symptom with a latex condom allergy is a burning sensation. This burning sensation may be experienced inside of the vagina, on the penis and on the skin of any area that has been in contact with the condom.
A rash usually appears within eight hours of exposure to latex condoms. This rash can be mild to moderate, and may itch or burn, and may be pink or red in color. The skin may also flake when scratched. This rash may be very troublesome, but isn't always so.
Itching is usually one of the first symptoms in any allergy, and with a latex condom allergy can be troublesome and embarrassing. There may be mild to severe itching in the genital area. Females may experience itching around the vagina, vulva and labia, and may even experience internal itching in the vagina. Males may experience itching along the shaft of the penis and around the groin area at the base of the penis. Itching may also occur in any areas that were exposed to the latex condom. Additionally, if the allergic person engaged in oral sex, the lips, tongue and throat may also itch.
Latex allergies are usually developed after prolonged exposure and worsen over time with additional exposure. As a result, blisters may form around or in areas that are repeatedly exposed to a latex condom. These blisters are a result of the immune system trying to defend itself against the latex in the condom, which it has deemed as a threat to the body. Usually water-filled, these blisters may be very painful, and should not be popped as histamine, which is a substance released by the body during an immune response, in the blister can then spread to other areas of the body.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic response and needs immediate emergency medical treatment. If you experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, rapid heartbeat or chest pain, it is imperative to call 911 or visit an emergency room immediately. If left untreated, anaphylaxis often leads to death due to constriction of the airways and other complications.
- condom image by Jorge Casais from Fotolia.com