Most condoms are made of latex, but some are made of polyurethane. Some are also lubricated with a spermicide. Latex – derived from the milky sap of the rubber tree – contains water soluble proteins, which can cause allergic reactions. Studies have shown that people with asthma, sensitive noses, eczema, or an allergic reaction to banana, chestnut, kiwi and avocado are at an increased risk of latex allergy. Avoid latex products if the allergy is confirmed.
Polyurethane condoms are recommended for those with a latex allergy. Another possible allergic component could arise from spermicides – substances that kill sperm. Look for condoms without nonoxynol-9 and octoxynol-8.