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Vinyl Gloves Allergies
A very common complaint heard frequently is allergies to vinyl gloves. This quick guide will discuss the causes and treatments for vinyl gloves allergies should this ever become a problem.
What are Vinyl Gloves?
A common type of disposable glove for hygiene and safety purposes are made of vinyl. This type of glove is used in a wide variety of commercial and home applications.
What are Vinyl Gloves Made Of?
Vinyl gloves are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and one or more additives to improve the properties of the glove. Plasticizers are added in manufacturing to make them more pliable.
Are Vinyl Gloves Latex Free?
Do vinyl gloves contain latex? No, vinyl gloves do not contain latex. Many people with latex allergies can wear vinyl gloves without problem. This not only protects you but others around you at work who may suffer from an allergy to latex.
Why Disposable Vinyl Gloves are a Popular Choice
Vinyl disposable gloves are a popular choice in the food industry. Many other industries love to use them because of their affordability. The risk of latex allergies is not a problem since this type of glove does not contain the protein found in latex gloves.
Why Use Vinyl Gloves?
Vinyl is a good barrier to prevent the transfer of light chemicals, food products, detergents, dyes, bodily fluids, and microorganisms. These disposable safety gloves have good strength at low cost and are easy to use with low risk for injury. PVC is waterproof, keeping your hands dry while working.
Why Cheap Vinyl Gloves are a Good Idea
The PVC used to make synthetic vinyl exam gloves is very inexpensive. In fact, they are the most affordable option when compared to latex and nitrile gloves. Hairdressers, hotel housekeepers, home cleaners, janitors, and food prep services benefit from the low cost of one-time use hand protection.
Where to Use Disposable Safety Gloves
They can be used in a number of settings including daycare centers, office cleaning, home cleaning, food processing facilities, and manufacturing plants.
Can You Be Allergic to Vinyl Gloves?
It is rare to experience an allergic reaction to vinyl gloves. It is far more common to have a reaction to latex or chemical accelerators. If you do have a vinyl glove reaction, it is most likely caused by contact urticaria.
Another type of reaction may be from leakage. If the gloves are worn too long, they may begin to leak. This allows contact with chemicals and other irritants on the skin.
Many chemicals used in these gloves, including carba mix, mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), thiuram mix, combined dialkyl thioureas, and black rubber mix, have been linked to contact allergic reactions to PVC. Allergic contact dermatitis has also been reported as a common type of reaction.
Petroleum is also used in the manufacturing process of vinyl gloves and is often the source of an allergic reaction. While it is uncommon, it may occur in some people.
What is Contact Urticaria?
Contact urticaria is a type of allergic reaction that causes the skin to burn when exposed to the substance that has triggered the allergy. The symptoms of contact urticaria tend to last for a short period. It usually clears up within 24 hours of removing the cause of the allergic reaction.
It is important to note that all types of gloves can cause contact urticaria, not just vinyl gloves.
What Causes Contact Urticaria?
If you have an allergic reaction to vinyl gloves, this is most likely caused by contact urticaria. It is a skin irritation generally caused by your hands sweating inside the gloves. People with highly sensitive skin or eczema are especially prone to contact urticaria.
Allergy Types and Symptoms
Most people with allergies to vinyl gloves may experience the following symptoms:
- Itchy red rash
- Small blisters or hives
- Cracked skin
Symptoms of An Allergy to Vinyl Gloves
Contact urticaria is a type of allergy response that causes the skin to become red, itchy, swollen, and inflamed. Symptoms typically appear within minutes to hours after exposure. This simple skin irritation is triggered by perspiration and lack of breathability inside gloves.
Vinyl Gloves Allergy Symptoms
The most common symptom is urticaria or hives. It usually develops within 10 minutes of putting on vinyl gloves and resolves when you take them off. Other symptoms of vinyl glove allergy include redness, skin dryness, cracking of skin, rash or hives, and pain or welts at the site of contact.
What are the vinyl glove allergies symptoms? The most common vinyl glove allergy symptoms are usually tactile (feel) related, such as itching and burning. Some people experience only one or two symptoms, while others report many more including hives (raised red welts on the skin).
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How to Treat Vinyl Glove Allergy
The best vinyl glove allergy treatment is to just take off the gloves. Any reaction that does occur is very mild and solved by simply removing the gloves and washing hands. Contact urticaria can also be treated with antihistamines.
The Best Remedy for Hand Allergies to Vinyl Gloves
The best remedy for hand allergies is to prevent them from happening. Remember to replace gloves regularly. Remove them immediately if your hands feel sweaty. Wash your hands thoroughly with mild soap and allow them to dry completely. Replace gloves every time you notice a puncture or tear.
Avoid wearing wet gloves and do not wear gloves when your hands are moist. Also, try using a cotton inner liner. Make sure your gloves are not too small or tight. This may cause discomfort by not allowing enough air to your skin.
Sweat-absorbing cloth liners, which can be incorporated into the gloves or worn separately under disposable gloves, can help minimize risk. However, adding liners thickens the hand coverage and eliminates mobility. This is one of the main reasons why people prefer wearing thin disposable gloves.
Are Vinyl Gloves Safe?
Vinyl gloves are safe for most people, but a very small number of people may suffer from contact urticaria from hand sweating or a skin irritation caused by chemicals or other substances leaking through a torn glove.
What are the Risks of Vinyl Gloves?
Vinyl gloves cause almost no allergic reactions. It is far less common than latex allergies and sensitivities to chemical accelerators. This is why many industries prefer using them for short, low-risk tasks.
Although vinyl gloves protect the hands against a range of irritants and chemicals, they can begin to leak if worn for too long. Also, they should not be used in direct contact to stronger chemicals.
Vinyl Allergy Glove Options
Here are two types of vinyl glove options if you have a vinyl allergy.
Powder Free Gloves
Powder free vinyl gloves are free from any traces of powder. Glove powder can cause skin and airborne irritation while contaminating surfaces in the workplace. It may also cause hand eczema to flare up as well.
Accelerator Free Gloves
Accelerator free gloves do not contain chemical accelerators. The most common irritation that occurs with vinyl gloves is caused by chemical allergies. Sensitivity to accelerators used in manufacturing can cause skin irritation. Accelerator free gloves removes that risk.
Vinyl Allergies Glove Options
Both powder free and accelerator free are great options for those sensitive to latex and chemical accelerators. Synthetic gloves, such as neoprene or nitrile, manufactured with different additives are also good alternatives.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Vinyl Gloves
Vinyl gloves provide medium safety and are touch sensitive, but they are not as durable. They also are not recommended for use with oils, fatty foods, and strong chemicals.
The biggest advantages are they are latex-free and very cost-effective. Enjoy the benefits of standard protection and a comfortable fit while saving money.
Should You Be Concerned About Vinyl Gloves Allergies?
Vinyl glove allergies are so rare that most people will never encounter it. For anyone that does experience temporary mild discomfort, simply changing to another type of glove and keeping your hands dry will often fix it.