Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can a condom give you an allergic reaction?"

ZocdocAnswersCan a condom give you an allergic reaction?


I just started having sex and when I wear a condom I get red splotches on my penis. Can you be allergic to condoms?


Is your condom made of latex? Allergies to latex are increasingly common. If you are truly allergic to latex condom, you could experience redness, soreness, dryness, itchiness, eczema and/or a skin rash (perhaps those red splotches on your penis). These symptoms are usually severe. The allergic reactions tend to develop either immediately after first contact with latex or after repeated exposure. You should consider switching to non-latex condoms that are made of soft plastic material or polyurethane ones that are unlikely to cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Another possibility is lubricant. Personally, I have not seen any patients who are allergic to lubricants, but it is possible. To test it out, you can use non-lubricated side, switch to a different condom brand that is coated with a different lubricant, or purchase unlubricated condom and use water-based lubricant. Water-based lubricant works well with any condom brand and is unlikely to cause allergy. If spermicide is your potential problem, you should avoid condoms with nonoxynol-9. Some people have allergic reactions to nonoxynol-9. I hope you find the information helpful. But if you need further information or more help to figure out whether you are allergic to latex, lubricant and/or spermicides, I would recommend a consultation with a family doctor soon.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.