vinyl glove allergic reaction

Is an Allergic Reaction to Vinyl Gloves Common? Symptoms and Treatment

Nitrile, latex and vinyl gloves are essential for workers in hygiene-related or medical industries, especially when they're in contact with chemicals, germs and bodily fluids. Even though there is a difference in all three's components, many painful skin reactions, including irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, as well as contact urticaria, have been reported with the use of all types of gloves.

Can You Be Allergic to Vinyl Gloves?

Vinyl gloves are disposable PVC gloves (polyvinyl chloride). These gloves are widely available, typically less expensive, and offer protection against various household and industrial risks.

Although it is rare, contact allergic reactions to PVC have been reported as a result of wearing vinyl gloves. This happens due to the other additives used in the manufacturing of these gloves, such as carba mix, mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), thiuram mix, mixed dialkyl thioureas, and black rubber mix. Allergic contact dermatitis to vinyl gloves is considered most likely to be what is called ‘contact urticaria;.

How Likely is an Allergic Reaction to Vinyl Gloves?

An allergic reaction to vinyl gloves is not likely and is considerably rare. As they are latex-free, vinyl gloves are perfect for sensitive skin types. Being a medical grade glove, they are actually usually recommended as a hypoallergenic alternative to latex.

What are the Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Vinyl Gloves?

skin rash from vinyl gloves

Contact urticaria (Cu)is defined as a skin irritation, likely to be caused by lack of ventilation inside of the vinyl glove. This is the most common symptom of an allergic reaction to vinyl gloves.

Contact urticaria (CU) often exhibits a transient wheal and flare reaction (what is commonly known as swelling, burning and reddening of the area) within 10 to 60 minutes in response to the contact with the glove. It usually goes away completely within 24 hours, granted one has taken off the gloves and avoided the substance.

How to Treat a Vinyl Glove Allergy

treatment for a vinyl glove allergy

The treatment of a vinyl glove allergy often revolves firstly, and most importantly, on prevention. With any allergic reaction, often the first line of defense is to completely avoid contact with the substances that cause the reaction in the first place, and finding an alternative.

Otherwise, if one is already afflicted with contact urticaria, usually antihistamines are prescribed to treat the affected area. If the allergy is not intense enough to require antihistamines, a GP may prescribe a topical corticosteroid to reduce inflammation, or you could use an anti-itching cream or ointment, or simply soak the area in a cool bathe.

What are the Alternatives to Vinyl Gloves?

Although vinyl gloves have their benefits, such as being less expensive compared to other gloves, or that they provide less friction between your skin and the glove,if you have a vinyl glove allergy it is best to avoid them and go for alternative gloves. Although vinyl gloves are known for their lower risk of causing hypersensitivity or contact allergies, in the case you do have issues with vinyl there are other options available.

Firstly, Nitrile gloves are a great option. Nitrile gloves are superior to vinyl for barrier protection and chemical resistance, and they account for 72.5% of the total glove market. Nitrile gloves are, as indicated in the name, made of nitrile, a chemical with puncture-resistant synthetic rubber. They protect against oils, chemicals, and other contaminants on work sites.

Depending on what you need the gloves for, you can choose between industrial and medical grade nitrile gloves. Industrial gloves are mostly used for automotive, food service, and tattoo shop environments, and not for healthcare. Medical grade nitrile gloves are used in medical environments since they meet FDA specifications.

Be sure to find nitrile medical grade gloves that pass bloodborne pathogen penetration resistance tests and not contain additives unsuitable for surgery or medical exams, such as glove powder. WellBefore offers nitrile gloves you can trust that do meet those specifications.

Secondly, you always have the option of looking into latex gloves, although it is possible that you will also have an allergic reaction to latex if you have an allergic reaction to vinyl. Latex gloves are known to have a high probability of causing contact dermatitis and other allergic reactions as well.

It is recommended that you try to expose yourself to latex to test your skin before you commit to buy latex gloves. Powder-free latex gloves can also reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. WellBefore also offers latex gloves you can trust that do meet those specifications.