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Contact Dermatitis. 1989 May;20(5):360-4.

Condoms as a source of latex allergen and cause of contact urticaria.

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1
Department of Dermatology, University Central Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Abstract

To examine the occurrence of latex allergen in condoms and to study the symptoms caused by contact with condoms, 46 patients with latex-glove contact urticaria (LGCU) were investigated. 7 (24%) of the 29 patients with a history of condom use had experienced local swelling and/or pruritus during intercourse, confirming that condoms can cause local symptoms in latex allergic subjects. Prick tests performed on 16 different condom brands showed that 4 brands caused positive reactions in 52-67% of patients. The remaining 12 brands were not as allergenic and 1 brand was totally negative on prick testing. 1 highly allergenic condom brand was examined by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), which showed similar protein profiles to those detectable in latex gloves and natural rubber. These results show that, in addition to rubber gloves and balloons, condoms should also be considered as possible sources of latex, and that patients with LGCU should be advised to avoid condoms.

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