Medical gloves are very important, helping to protect hands from pathogens, especially during the Covid-19 epidemic. However, wearing gloves for a long time can cause skin problems: allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, even ringworm.
Change of hand skin when wearing medical gloves
Medical gloves are protective gloves that are thin, light, tough and specialized in medical, food, laboratory, light industry…
Medical gloves form an environment that wraps the hands, completely separate from the surrounding environment, making the skin of the hands have certain changes.
The most common change of skin when wearing gloves for a long time is that the skin becomes wrinkled like a raisin. It is a normal response of the skin to changes in external environmental conditions (specifically water) and not pathological.
The degree of wrinkling more or less depends on the sweat of the hands, contact time and ability to absorb water of each person. In the past, many studies have suggested that the skin of hands and feet is wrinkled when soaked in water due to the phenomenon of osmosis, that is, the outermost layer of skin absorbs and swells with water. However, recent studies show that wrinkled hands and feet are not caused by osmosis, but by the nervous system that is the main driver of this phenomenon.
Although it is just a normal physiological response of the skin to water, exposure to moisture for a long time will still lead to harmful effects:
Irritant contact dermatitis
In a humid environment, the skin barrier has significant changes in moisture, temperature, microorganisms and permeability, making the skin more sensitive to chemicals introduced in the manufacturing process. export gloves.
Another factor that contributes to the increased likelihood of this condition is improper hand hygiene and care. Exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals such as soap, alcohol, or dishwashing liquid without thoroughly rinsing before wearing gloves can lead to skin irritation.
Irritant contact dermatitis causes more pain than itching. Signs range from mild erythema to purpura, scabs, erosions, pustules, bullae, and glove area edema.
Allergic contact dermatitis
Other allergic reactions irritation at the site of vesicles, erythema, and scaly secretions are more widespread and may be accompanied by systemic manifestations such as urticaria, skin rash, and widespread pruritus.
Another ingredient that often causes allergies when wearing medical gloves is latex, a protein found in natural rubber latex. Allergic reaction to latex is a rapid reaction, which can have clinical manifestations ranging from urticaria to anaphylaxis.
The humid environment in medical gloves for a long time is extremely ideal for fungal cells to multiply and grow. Itching is the first sign that makes the patient very uncomfortable, scratching spreads pathogens, and at the same time causes skin infections that cause festering, sores, etc., which can lead to skin infections, dermatitis, and eczema. to health.
Take care of your hands when wearing medical gloves
Sanitize hands before putting on gloves
Studies show that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are more effective than traditional hand sanitizers in reducing infection in hospitals and health centers. They are also less irritating than soap and water, and are also more convenient during actual use when fighting the epidemic.
Choose a colorless, fragrance-free, alcohol-based cleanser, and wash your hands with mild soap and water when the skin is contaminated with dirt or secretions or blood. It is necessary to clean and dry hands completely before wearing gloves to avoid causing moisture and chemical penetration into the skin.
Choosing medical gloves
Choose gloves of the right design and size for comfort and safety during use.
In anti-epidemic work, latex gloves show the best virus protection for healthcare workers. It is important to choose powder-free gloves because it is less irritating and drying to the skin of the hands.
For cases of latex allergy, nitrile gloves can be selected instead. When wearing gloves for more than 30 minutes, you should remove the gloves and use cotton gauze to dry your hands, give your hands a rest to rebalance the moisture of the skin before wearing new gloves.
Skin care when wearing medical gloves
After using medical gloves, hands should be cleaned with mild soaps. Then, apply a restorative moisturizer with ceramides to soften the skin and help rebuild the skin barrier.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to strengthen the skin barrier, however, absolutely should not be used before wearing medical gloves because of the potential for chemical reactions with the rubber components in the skin. Medical gloves puncture gloves, causing danger during use.
The Covid-19 epidemic season is prolonging and causing a difficult burden to fall on all classes of people in society, especially medical workers. Therefore, the knowledge about wearing gloves will facilitate the best possible protection of health and comfort for the hands.