Vinyl Gloves for Medical Use: Is it Safe?

Vinyl Gloves for Medical Use: Is it Safe?

Are vinyl gloves safe for medical use? Find out how effective and secured disposable gloves, like vinyl gloves, are for the dental and medical industries.

Wearing complete personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial to ensure your safety, especially in dental and medical care. Dentists and medical practitioners need to get close to provide a detailed and accurate diagnosis. Hence, wearing gloves and changing them after every patient is necessary.

However, not all disposable gloves are the same. Some materials, such as latex gloves, might not be ideal for examination or cause allergic reactions. To ensure your and your patient’s safety, wear vinyl gloves for every client and wash your hands thoroughly. 

Here are reasons why vinyl gloves are safe for medical use.

What are Vinyl Gloves?

Like neoprene gloves and nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves are made from a synthetic polymer combined with plasticizers and PVC (a type of additive called polyvinyl chloride). As a result, vinyl gloves are sometimes less strong than latex gloves but safer if you or your patient have latex allergies. 

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This type of glove is less likely or uncommon to cause skin allergies. People who experience skin irritation while wearing vinyl gloves might be due to a lack of ventilation and sweat. This is called contact urticaria which is only temporary and mild. Vinyl gloves are waterproof. Hence, they lack ventilation and can’t be worn for a long time.

You can easily avoid this by wearing fabric liners to absorb sweat.

Vinyl gloves are less stretchable and offer limited protection. When vinyl gloves are stretched, the molecules are also stretched, and the protection it provides is compromised.

These types of gloves are ideal for non-hazardous tasks and environments for a short time. As a result, vinyl gloves are typically used in the food and beverage manufacturing and production industries. They are the best choice for household and commercial use, which requires frequent use and changing. 

In addition, vinyl disposable gloves offer protection against dyes, detergents, and low-risk liquids and bodily fluids. If doctors or medical practitioners conduct low-risk examinations, they can use vinyl gloves if they don’t have latex gloves or nitrile gloves.

However, the main advantage of vinyl gloves is their affordability and anti-static properties.

What Types of Gloves are Used by Doctors?

Doctors typically use disposable gloves such as nitrile gloves and latex gloves.

person with blue gloves

(Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash)

Numerous doctors have used latex gloves longer than other types of gloves. This is because natural rubber latex is a naturally occurring and accessible material. They are flexible, durable, and comfortable to wear. That is, if you and your patient don’t have latex allergies or sensitive skin.

Here are the reasons why dental and medical professionals commonly use latex gloves:

      • Superior dexterity and comfort: Medical-grade latex gloves don’t hinder the doctor’s touch and tactile sensitivities and are perfect for medical and surgical procedures.
      • Chemical resistance: Latex is normally resistant to bases, acids, and chemicals, such as iodine, chlorine, and formaldehyde.
      • Puncture resistance: Heavy-duty latex gloves last longer and provide puncture resistance, depending on their thickness.
      • FDA approved: The US FDA regulates all personal protective equipment, including latex gloves. 

While nitrile gloves provide better puncture resistance and comfort. They are easier to remove, and you won’t need to purchase powdered versions. Nitrile is a synthetic rubber that is more durable and long-lasting than latex.

Here are some benefits of using nitrile gloves for dental and medical purposes:

  • Excellent pathogen protection: Nitrile surgical gloves are thicker and provide better protection against pathogens from bodily fluids, blood, or liquid.
  • Better puncture resistance: Nitrile gloves can be up to 4 times more puncture resistance than latex.
  • Comfortable to wear: These types of disposable surgical gloves are more comfortable and can be worn for hours.
  • High tactile sensitivity: These medical gloves will not hinder the feeling and dexterity of the wearer.

More About Nitrile Gloves: Neoprene vs Nitrile Gloves: What’s The Difference

What Makes Vinyl Gloves Safe for Medical Use?

Vinyl gloves are not so durable, thick, and comfortable to use. However, some dental and medical professionals still prefer using them in specific tasks and environments. Here are reasons why dental and medical practitioners still use vinyl gloves.


To make vinyl gloves, PVC is needed, one of the world's most-produced plastic materials. Hence, vinyl gloves are the most cost-effective and affordable choice for most people. 

If you want to save more, ordering Vinyl Gloves in bulk is advisable.

Better Option For Those With Latex Allergies

Vinyl gloves is latex-free. Although not many people have latex allergies, as a dental and medical practitioner, it is still best to take extra precautions. Using latex-free types of gloves is a better option.

Once you or your patient experience rashes, skin irritations, and inflammation while using latex gloves, it is best to remove the gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.

Short-Term Protection Against Chemicals & More

Due to not being too thick or durable, vinyl gloves can provide pathogen protection from liquids, blood, or bodily fluids for a short time. Hence, vinyl gloves are ideal for short procedures or examinations. There is little to less physical contact with pathogens from liquids in examination applications.

If you are wearing vinyl gloves and exposed to blood or bodily fluids with pathogens, remove your disposable gloves, wash your hands properly, apply alcohol or sanitizer, and replace your gloves.

Vinyl Gloves: Final Thoughts

Vinyl gloves are not the best option for dental and medical industries. These types of gloves are easy to tear and have a looser fit. However, because these disposable gloves are cost-effective, many people still use them for short procedures, examinations, and low-risk tasks with less exposure to pathogens. In addition, vinyl gloves are not made for handling dangerous materials and substances.