PIP: Latex, a material derived from the rubber tree, can cause an allergic reaction in the form of contact dermatitis. This allergy can manifest in a rash, swelling, and itching, and symptoms can be mild or severe. Individuals who come into frequent contact with latex are at risk of developing an allergy. Latex allergy should be suspected in cases of swelling or itching after a medical examination, contact with rubber gloves, swelling or itching of the mouth and lips after blowing up a balloon or having a dental examination, or oral itching after eating bananas, chestnuts, or avocados. Latex sensitivity can cause penile, vaginal, or rectal itching or swelling after using male condoms or a vaginal diaphragm. People with latex allergies can use lambskin condoms (which protect against pregnancy but not against sexually transmitted diseases [STDs]) or polyurethane condoms. The female condom, Reality, is made of polyurethane and protects against pregnancy, STDs, and HIV/AIDS. The male polyurethane condom, Avanti, will be available nationwide in the US in 1997. Additional research is required to determine if the male polyurethane condom protects against STDs as well as pregnancy.