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Deproteinised latex condoms are well tolerated by latex allergic patients
  1. D A Levy,
  2. P Moudiki,
  3. F Leynadier
  1. Centre d'Allergologie, Hôpital Tenon, AP/HP, Paris, France
  1. David A Levy, MD, Centre d'Allergie, Hôpital Tenon, 4, rue de la Chine, 75020 Paris, France dalevy{at}

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Short report

Immediate hypersensitivity reactions to natural rubber latex were first recognised in 1979.1 Since the late 1980s, latex allergy has been recognised as a major problem, especially in individuals such as healthcare workers who use latex gloves at work every day2, 3 and in patients heavily exposed to latex gloves—for example, children who undergo multiple surgical interventions for congenital neurological or urological abnormalities.4 Condoms, widely used as a means of contraception and/or to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, were among the first latex products reported to cause an allergic reaction—going from genital urticaria to anaphylaxis—in individuals who had become sensitised to latex.58 This is not surprising given that classic latex condoms may contain as much latex allergen as latex gloves.9, 10

Among latex allergic people who use condoms, these reactions are not rare.6, 8 We recently questioned 238 of our latex allergic patients—mostly women, and half of them healthcare professionals—about their use of condoms11; 39% reported having used condoms at least once since becoming allergic to latex. The large majority (84%) of those who had used condoms reported having had a local and/or a generalised immediate hypersensitivity reaction on contact with a condom during sexual intercourse. Local itching and swelling were the most frequently reported complaints, but at least one fourth of them had also had cutaneous urticaria, angioedema, and/or respiratory symptoms, leading them to no longer use condoms. Many of …

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