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Rubber gloves are irreplaceable item for every household. Since its introduction more than a century ago, they have steadily build quite a reputation for their usefulness in any cleaning operation or where sterile conditions are of the utmost importance. They are used in various industries such as professional cleaning and health and well-being. Rubber gloves have penetrated into our homes as well. They have proved to be important part of the wide range of domestic cleaning products we use. We use them mainly for protection. They provide excellent barrier protection when we use chemical products or just to preserve the suppleness and softness of our skin. Moreover, they come in different types- re-usable or disposable and make- natural or synthetic such as vinyl gloves.
Widely used type of gloves are disposable latex gloves. Unfortunately, natural rubber contains latex which causes allergic reactions in between 5% and 15% of people who use latex gloves regularly. Moreover, people who are prone to allergies are at increased risk. There are three main types of reactions to latex:
1. Irritant contact dermatitis: irritation from latex gloves causes dry, itchy areas usually developed on the hands.
2. Allergic contact dermatitis: it is result from exposure to chemicals added to latex. It usually causes a rash, which appears one or two days after contact. It begins on the hands but can spread to other parts of your body.
3. Latex allergy: it usually causes immediate reaction which results in skin redness and itching. Sometimes as it is more severe that the previous two reactions as it may lead to respiratory problems or even an anaphylactic shock.
If you show any signs of allergic reaction be advised to stop using latex gloves and avoid using such products and search for medical help. You can switch to alternative non latex products which have been developed of lately. You can start using appropriate cleaning accessories like nitrile or vinyl gloves instead. Vinyl gloves have nearly the same properties as the latex gloves except for the natural protein that causes allergic reactions.