Allergy: Facts about gloves and allergy

Repeated exposure to the same substance may cause allergy. This applies to gloves as well. Remember that skin irritations may be caused by several other factors than the use of gloves.

LATEX ALLERGY 

(TYPE I ALLERGY)

The problem of latex allergy is widely debated. This has resulted in an exaggerated fear of latex gloves. Actually, only an estimated 1% of the population are affected by allergy intolerance to latex.

Allergy intolerance to latex is not manifested by the appearance of local skin rashes but rather in symptoms such as sneezing, running nose, general discomfort, hot flushes, an itchy skin condition etc. The severity of latex allergy varies and at worst, it can lead to anaphylactic shock, which is potentially fatal.

This, however, is rarely seen.

There are some indications of allergy to latex. People already suffering from some kind of allergy (asthma, hay fever) are automatically at risk. People allergic to the following foods are also at risk of being intolerant to latex gloves: nuts, avocados, kiwi fruits, passion fruits, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, carambolas, coco nuts, papayas, peaches, pineapples, melons, figs, peanuts, and curry powder.

Repeated exposure to latex proteins may cause latex allergy. People using powdered gloves are exposed to airborne latex proteins because they bind to the powder, and the level of latex proteins are much higher in a powdered glove than a powder free glove. For this reason we do not recommend the use of powdered gloves, but rather powder free latex or nitrile gloves for frequent users of disposable gloves.

CONTACT ALLERGY

(TYPE IV ALLERGY)

The production of gloves is complicated and requires the use of different chemicals. The content of  chemicals in the final product is reduced to a minimum as the gloves pass through a number of rinsing processes. 

ABENA gloves are produced exclusively by suppliers implementing proper rinsing procedures in the production process. Traces of chemical substances in the final gloves are inevitable and though these are not allergenic in itself, repeated exposure to the same substance may cause allergy. Skin irritations and allergy caused by these chemicals are termed contact allergy and should not be confused with latex allergy. The chemicals mentioned are also called accelerators or rubber chemicals.

The contact allergy will occur where there is contact with the glove.

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