Monday, 17 March 2014

Rubber Glove Syndrome

I'll start off by saying I don't think there really is such a 'syndrome'. I'm using the above title to point out wearing rubber gloves causes a number of skin conditions such as contact dermatitis.

In my line of work I hear from a lot of nurses and cleaners who spend their days with their hands stuffed inside rubber gloves. On top of that they're often exposed to and using chemical cleaners and washing their hands often. They present with extremely itchy rashes on their hands that won't go away.

Wearing rubber gloves can be toxic to some who are allergic to latex. It can be annoying at best to others. There are people who never wear rubber gloves for these reasons.

Having wet hands while wearing rubber gloves heightens skin reactions which is why nurses and cleaners often have more severe cases of rashes on their hands. Their hands are often wet either before or during wearing their gloves.
Sweating while wearing gloves is also another cause.

Recently I had a skin reaction on my right hand, I started getting hang nails (those painful little pieces of skin that peel back from the cuticle) and my thumb started to feel like it was burning. It was red and very painful to touch. This is followed by a layer of skin peeling off leaving me more exposed to pain and sensitivity. At first I didn't understand why it was happening and I thought it might have been caused by the increased paperwork I've been doing (organising and revamping my office). Working with paper can cause our hands to become dry and have symptoms such as hang nails and dry sensitive skin.

One morning I decide to wrap my thumb in bandage tape because the pain was unbearable. I began doing the dishes, put the rubber gloves on and could feel wetness inside the right glove. I realised the glove had a hole in it and all the time I'd been doing dishes that week I was exposing myself to wet latex and it was causing my skin reaction. Time to throw away those leaky gloves and get a new pair!

Time also to do some natural healing by applying Rich Cream Moisturiser on daily, along with Fancy Cuticle Oil.

The best way to combat Rubber Glove Syndrome is to avoid wearing gloves when your hands are wet or damp or sweaty and avoid wearing gloves that allow your hands to be exposed to water while you're wearing them. Another option is to wear cotton gloves underneath your rubber gloves.

It is VERY important to rehydrate your hands afterwards. Make sure to moisturise with an all natural moisturiser like Rich Cream and AVOID chemical moisturisers because they'll only exacerbate your condition.

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