In this day and age, gloves are more relevant than ever.
Due to the unfortunate spread of the Covid 19 epidemic that affected the whole world, people are actively seeking different ways to prevent themselves and their loved ones from this grave danger.
Also, people are becoming increasingly aware of preventative measures to avoid different incidents rather than just waiting for something to happen and then seeking treatment.
Different societies are moving towards collective awareness from skin health to infection control for a better quality of life.
Here comes the critical role that gloves play in our modern society.
Different people use different types of gloves for different reasons. From washing the dishes to medical use to handling heavy machinery.
If you don’t know what type of gloves to choose, check our article about all-purpose gloves.
But what if some of these gloves we use for protection can pose an unexpected threat to our health? What is the nature of this threat? How to prevent it, and how do we treat it?
We are here today to specifically talk about vinyl gloves, and to be more specific; we will address in this article the issue of vinyl gloves allergy.
How long does it take for an individual to develop a vinyl gloves allergy? What are the symptoms? Are there any treatments? And how do we prevent it from happening altogether?
But first, let’s briefly talk about vinyl gloves in general.
Vinyl gloves in a glance
Scientists developed vinyl gloves from a synthetic material called Poly Vinyl Chloride or PVC, a petroleum-based film-like polymer.
During manufacturing, the manufacturers add a plasticizer to make the material more flexible for better use.
A wide variety of industries use vinyl gloves, mainly food industries, cleaning industries, and only light medical use with low risk of exposure to bodily fluids, and we are going to mention why we specify only light medical use as we go on in this article.
If you want to know more about medical-grade gloves and their uses. That was a brief introduction to vinyl gloves, but what are the pros and cons of this specific type of gloves?
Why use vinyl gloves?
Vinyl gloves are one of the most popular choices for many industries. They are relatively cheap, widely available in the market, and offer many varieties.
For example, the powder-free option is ideal for the food industry; they are also relatively soft, allowing the hand to move freely. They are also easy to put on and take off when needed.
Customers choose food industry gloves for food preparation in beauty salons, janitorial, and automotive.
On the other hand, they are also Latex free, which is very important because there are many people who suffer from Latex allergies; these gloves are also antistatic and cost-effective.
Confused about the difference between vinyl and Latex gloves? Click here for a comprehensive guide.
When to avoid using vinyl gloves?
Unfortunately, vinyl gloves do not offer the highest level of protection against harsh chemicals or microorganisms.
That’s why experts always recommend only using this type of gloves in non-aseptic procedures and tasks with a meager chance of contact with harsh and harmful chemicals or different bodily fluids, as we mentioned earlier.
Also, vinyl gloves are prone to leakage and are relatively more prone to puncture and damage by cuts and breaking down; they are less durable and offer less sensitivity.
These gloves do not fit as well as other types like Latex or nitrile. And unfortunately, when it comes to the environment, vinyl gloves are harmful to the environment if you dispose of them incorrectly; they are not echo-friendly.
Also, stretching these gloves’ material makes them weaker and less protective.
Get to know more about vinyl gloves alternatives here, and last but not least, there is the main issue we are going to address in this article;
Vinyl glove allergy
First, we must understand that PVC is not the cause of vinyl glove allergy; it is the plasticizers manufacturers add to making vinyl gloves to enhance flexibility.
We will be mentioning these chemicals specifically later on in this article.
Before we get into it, we must state that vinyl glove allergy is not very common.
Nevertheless, one case of allergic reaction is as important as a hundred. That’s why we bring you all the information you need about vinyl glove allergy.
What exactly causes vinyl glove allergy?
Vinyl glove allergy symptoms are mainly immediate contact urticaria in the place with direct contact with the gloves, mainly the hand.
On the other hand, in some cases where the manufacturing companies make vinyl gloves in the same place, they make latex gloves, latex particles can contaminate the vinyl gloves, hence causing a latex allergy, not a vinyl glove allergy.
In the case of vinyl glove allergy, the allergenic material and the lack of breathability of said material are the reasons for contact urticaria.
And this allergenic material, surprisingly, is not PVC itself, as we mentioned earlier, but it is the other additives the manufacturers use in making these gloves, such as Thiuram mix, Carba mix, dialkyl thioureas and mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT).
On the other hand, in even fewer cases, researchers found some people may be allergic to petroleum, which is the source of PVC in vinyl gloves.
Unfortunately, though, these chemicals are essential in the manufacturing process; they enhance the quality of vinyl gloves tremendously.
But because of the documented allergic reactions to these chemicals, some companies developed accelerator-free gloves.
And another reason why a person might have an allergic reaction while wearing vinyl gloves can be caused by some sort of leakage through the gloves; this leakage can happen if the user wears the gloves too long without replacing them with new ones.
And that’s precisely why we recommend that the user try different types of gloves that offer more protection when handling harsh chemicals.
What are the symptoms of vinyl glove allergy?
In more detail, contact urticaria symptoms are swelling and redness of the skin right after contact with the allergenic substance.
In this case, the symptoms manifest as a flare reaction of swelling, burning, and redness. The skin may develop blisters and cracks.
Skin color can also become dark brown or purple in some cases. It usually happens within 10 minutes to one hour from contact between the skin and the gloves.
More often than not, these symptoms completely disappear within 24 hours as long as the person is not wearing vinyl gloves.
However, Sometimes things get worse!
In some severe cases, contact urticaria may last up to 2 to 3 weeks. It usually clears up on its own as well. But in some cases where the patient doesn’t know precisely what causes the allergy, it can keep coming back.
Contact urticaria and contact dermatitis are not contagious; It is very uncomfortable.
And like many other allergic conditions, they are not permanently treatable. However, dermatologists manage these conditions with medications and some simple lifestyle changes.
So, what we can take from all this is that there are multiple different causes for allergic reactions when using vinyl gloves than vinyl glove allergy!
But although it is rare, vinyl glove allergy manifests as contact urticaria, swelling and redness of the skin.
Now that we know the symptoms, is there any treatment available for contact urticaria caused by vinyl glove allergy
What is the treatment for vinyl glove allergy?
First, there is an ultimate rule that you need to know when it comes to any localized allergy; the first step to treat said allergy is to remove the allergenic substance away from the site affected by the allergic reaction.
This in that case, translates to taking off the gloves immediately; this is the first step to treating vinyl glove allergy.
Now, the treatment protocol, in this case, is the protocol to treat contact urticaria in general. Which is a protocol we will mention in detail right here. So, in the beginning, let’s talk about:
Immediate treatment for vinyl glove allergy
After removing the gloves, as we mentioned earlier, you should wash your hands thoroughly and allow them to dry completely.
Sometimes, that is all you need to do to get better. But if that is not enough, you can apply cool, wet compresses over the rash for 15 to 30 minutes.
Also, you can soak your hands in a soothing cool bath for 20 minutes.
However, if that also doesn’t work, please contact your healthcare provider to explore your options, from anti-itch creams and ointments to steroid creams or ointments.
Your healthcare provider would know best what suits your case precisely. Now that we covered immediate care, here are a few helpful tips if you suffer from contact urticaria.
General hand care tips for contact urticaria patients
When you wash your hands, take off any rings because they trap soap and moisture underneath them.
Use lukewarm water and wash them thoroughly with soap.
Avoid harsh soaps and detergents, and deodorant soaps also cause dryness hence causing further irritation to the skin; there are many medical soaps and detergents for people who suffer from contact with urticaria.
Consult your pharmacist or your healthcare provider to explore your options. Moreover, we recommend using a greasy moisturizer right after washing your hands.
Even more, you shouldn’t wear rings while doing your housework, and be careful not to peel acidic or irritating fruits and vegetables with your bare hands.
Also, it is essential that you use Dishwashing gloves; dish-cleaning soap is very harsh and has a severe drying effect on your hands. And when it comes to using gloves, Here are 10 reasons you should use cleaning gloves.
Before you go buy your new cleaning gloves, Here are the qualities we recommend that you consider while you choose the suitable gloves for yourself:
Wear a glove that is allergen free, also avoid using Latex gloves or powdered gloves of any kind.
That, of course, is in case you have a Latex allergy or are generally prone to allergic reactions or urticaria. This advice is not about vinyl glove allergy.
Moreover, wear gloves when you wash the dishes or do gardening.
You should wear gloves whenever you do any work requiring using detergents, soaps, chemicals, or irritating substances.
Here is your guide on the best remedies for hand eczema
Here are some effective home remedies for urticaria and hives:
It is as simple as it sounds, grab a towel, soak it in cold water and apply it on the part of the skin affected by hives.
While it is tempting to use ice, please beware that direct contact between ice and skin can be hazardous. It can cause a burn-like injury. So please stick to just cold water.
Aloe Vera gel
Aloe Vera gel has a moisturizing and anti-microbial effect from sunburn to wound healing.
A natural hydrating agent that works wonders. Apply a generous layer of aloe Vera gel to the affected area, especially at bedtime.
Or you can use Aloe Vera gloves; for more information, click here!
Calamine lotion is an over-the-counter treatment for many different skin reactions. It soothes itching and decreases inflammation.
While the word scrub may sound scary when it comes to inflamed skin.
Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and a moisturizing and soothing effect on the skin. Apply oatmeal on the skin with lukewarm water and gently scrub the affected area of the skin daily. You can also use Oatmeal soap for added value.
Avoid skin irritating products
Use soaps and lotions specifically for sensitive skin, and avoid using regular store-bought brands that contain perfumes and alcohol, as they have a drying effect on the skin.
Avoid coming in contact with irritants
If you already have hives, avoid wearing tight gloves, avoid deodorants or perfumes and avoid direct contact with heat and high sunlight.
Be sure to avoid spicy food and alcohol, as studies found that your food can directly impact your allergies, especially spicy food and alcohol.
It’s a common household item, but you may not know that baking soda has a skin soothing effect.
Mix a little portion of baking soda with lukewarm water forming a paste, then gently rub the paste on your skin. It will work wonders!
Famous for its wide range of health benefits.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants, proven to help with weight loss, and has antihistamine properties, hence the anti-inflammatory effect.
Drinking green tea 3 times a day can help with reducing skin inflammation.
Enhances immunity and clears the skin; not only does turmeric powder contribute to that, but it also has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Like baking soda, add turmeric powder to lukewarm water forming a paste; apply said paste gently to the affected area, massage it gently, then wash it. You will not believe the difference it makes.
Now that we got the treatment part covered thoroughly and in detail. How can we prevent it all from happening to begin with?
How to prevent vinyl glove allergy?
Now, we established that not every incident of an allergic reaction while wearing vinyl gloves is a vinyl glove allergy.
We will break down the different reasons for the allergy with the solution we recommend for each one.
The first possible reasons we discussed as the cause of vinyl glove allergy are perspiration, glove tightness, and lack of breathability. In that case, the user should choose gloves with sweat-absorbing fabric liners.
These liners are either built on the gloves, or you could wear them as a separate layer under the gloves.
However, using an extra layer underneath the glove will significantly reduce flexibility and dexterity, an essential quality in these gloves.
On the other hand, when the user has to work with strong chemicals that pose leakage thread, we advise choosing a different type of gloves that withstands harsh chemicals better than vinyl gloves to prevent leakage and allergic reactions.
Here are the best gloves you should use if you work with harsh chemicals
In case the user is allergic to vinyl gloves themselves, then we advise switching to natural or synthetic gloves that use entirely different additives since we established earlier that the actual cause of vinyl glove allergy is the use of the plasticizer, not PVC itself.
In this case, we recommend giving latex gloves a go.
Although Latex gloves cause more allergic reactions than Vinyl gloves, it is improbable that an individual allergic to plastic additives is also allergic to rubber.
Here is your guide if you want to know more about handling severe rashes with gloves.
Now, we have one last question to answer…
How long does it take to get a vinyl glove allergy later in life?
Like any other type of allergy, the answer is: you can never know.
Human skin can develop an allergic reaction to a specific material unpredictably.
Meaning you can wear vinyl gloves once and develop contact urticaria. Another individual can develop this case after using it 10 times.
And another user can always wear these gloves and never develop an allergic reaction to them.
There is no ultimate rule for when or who would develop an allergic reaction to the vinyl gloves, but to reassure you, it’s not a very common incident.
Also, there are many different types of gloves for people prone to allergic reactions. There are accelerator-free and powder-free vinyl gloves. And there are many other alternatives to vinyl gloves altogether.
vinyl gloves are cheap, widely available, and prevalent in many industries.
They have a wide range of customers and offer many different varieties, like the powder-free option that offers prevention from airborne irritation and eczema flare-up.
Also, the accelerator-free option for people who suffer from vinyl glove allergy manifested as contact urticaria.
They are generally safe for most people, but due to their weak protective barrier and lack of resilience, we always advise using them for low-risk tasks and for short periods.
Beware that different uses require different types of gloves. We do not recommend using vinyl gloves for all different fields.
You should always explore your options based on your needs.
Also, vinyl glove allergy is so rare that it is almost unheard of compared to latex allergy.
Nevertheless, we hope we were able to successfully go into detail on the causes and symptoms of vinyl glove allergy.
And we hope our advice on the treatment and management of the symptoms was helpful to you. Stay safe, and ask us any questions you want in the comments. We are always more than happy to help.