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How to Maintain Hand Hygiene While Wearing Impervious Single-Use Gloves

Professionals who wear single-use gloves probably think more about occupational hazards such as cuts and pathogens, and not so much about protection against the gloves they are wearing. But when disposable gloves are worn for extended periods of time, they can make hands more vulnerable to injury. Let me explain.

Single-use gloves are beneficial when it comes to protecting the skin against chemicals, contamination or infection, in the medical profession as well as food handling. Disposable gloves keep everyone safer because they minimize the spread of germs and bacteria.

Disposable Gloves Cause Sweat

What goes on under the gloves is a different matter. Water-proof disposable gloves create an air-tight barrier around the hands which causes the hands to heavily sweat. With nothing to wick perspiration, moisture becomes trapped inside the gloves. Seeking relief, many users tend to change gloves more often but hands softened from sweat are more prone to injury. Repetitive damp then dry then damp again conditions can cause dryness, hand irritation and even pain.

Harsh Antimicrobial Cleansers

Professionals who wear disposable gloves are required to wash the hands frequently, typically after each change-out. Cleaning agents degined to kill germs and bacteria on the skin can be harsh. Harsh cleansers such as such as alcohol-based sanitizers and antimicrobial hand soap further dry the skin and compound any exisiting problems. The same applies if individuals use disinfecting solutions with no hand protection.

Environmental Conditions

And lastly, cold weather conditions are brutal on the hands and it compounds minor irritations to the point the skin becomes severly dry, cracked, or inflammed.

Antime you combine these factors, your skin's normal protective mechanisms are severely compromised and further complications are most likely to occur. For example, severely dry skin can cause deep cracks or fissures, which can open and bleed, providing an avenue for invading bacteria.


Try these tips to keep skin from getting excessively dry:

  • *Moisturize. Moisturizer seals skin to keep water from escaping, keeps the skin healthy and is perhaps the best prevention. It is critical to start a regimen before symptoms set-in and moisturize daily at least three times a day, everyday. Do not wait until dry, irritated or inflammed skin sets-in!
  • Limit water exposure. Keep bath and shower time to 10 minutes or less. Turn the dial to warm, not hot. Try to bathe no more than once a day.
  • Skip the drying soap. Try gentle cleansing creams, gentle skin cleansers and shower gels with added moisturizers.
  • Cover as much skin as possible in cold or windy weather. Winter is brutal on the skin and can be especially drying to skin, so be sure to wear a scarf, hat and gloves when you go out.
  • Wear rubber gloves. If you have to immerse your hands in water or are using harsh cleansers, wearing chemical protection gloves can help protect your skin.

Hand Hygiene Solutions

+ Moisturizing daily. When it comes to soft, supple skin, a daily moisturizing regimen helps the skin stay hydrated, and, it is important to be proactive rather than reactive. Waiting to moisturize until you have a problem causes the healing process to take much longer. The old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies-do not wait until the skin becomes irritated to moisturize. Stoko has a complete line of before and work hand creams designed to keep the skin hydrated.  +SBS 40 Medicated Skin Cream has helped many professionals who suffered with Dermatitis with great success. Dynarex® offers skin care products that can help. Check out +DynaSilk Aloe Hand & Body Lotion , +CalaSoothe Skin Protectant Cream, +DynaShield Skin Protectant Cream and +LanaShield Skin Protectant Cream

+ Understand the environment you live in. Winter weather is harsh on the skin (and so is the sun). The winter months are the most harsh as the cold weather sucks moisture from the skin and can cause it to flake or crack making it susceptible to Dermatitis. Moisturizing daily in any weather helps fight off dry skin.

+ Many hand sanitizers active ingredient is a form of alcohol, and alcohol is a solvent which dries the skin by removing the dermal protective layer of natural oils leading to redness, dryness and irritation. Switch to an alcohol-free hand sanitizer or use a sanitizer with added moisturizers such as +Kleenex® Reveal Ultra Foam Sanitizer. Proven effective, +Safetec® hand sanitizing gel and Synergy™ brand features moisturing agents and are recommended for those suffering from dry, irritated skin.

+ Professionals who wear gloves often wash their hands after a glove change-out. Healthcare hand washes are designed to kill germs and multiple daily use can dry the skin out. Switch to a hypoallergenic hand soap or a +sensitive skin soap with added moisturizers.

+ Wear an absorbent glove liner under impervious gloves. Since heat and sweat can upset the natural pH balance of hands and cause damage, moisture-wicking materials like +Sure Knit™ Ultra-Thin Half-Finger Nylon Inspector Gloves could help. Moisture is drawn away from the skin, keeping hands drier, and the result is a cooler glove that is more comfortable to wear. Superior Glove® Lightweight Cotton/Poly Inspectors Glove Liners offer full finger coverage and for those seeking 100% Pure Cotton, try our +Economy Glove Liners

+ Rid your traditional gloves and purchase disposable moisturizing gloves instead.  Recent advancements in technology now allow gloves to have an inner lining of moisturizer that releases and bonds to the skin as the glove warms.  These gloves are designed to be preventative and used on healthy skin - they will not treat open sores.  +Dynarex® Aloetex™ Moisturizing Latex Exam Gloves are popular.  You can also try accerlator-free ntirile exam gloves. The skin-friendly +SHOWA® accelerator-free 7502PF Nitrile Gloves are specially formulated for those with skin sensitivities to chemical accelerators used in many standard nitrile gloves. They are also fully biodegradable!

When workers are comfortable, they're more likely to wear gloves when they need them. Losing a key employee to dry, irritated skin is unacceptable now-a-days. With a vast line of preventative supplies, now operators can wear disposable gloves in comfort and confidence. Contact MDS with questions, for suggestions, samples and volume pricing today.

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