Is Latex the Real Cause of Glove Allergies?

Allergy issues are a big concern for those who use disposable gloves. Some users have negative skin reactions to the gloves they wear, thus interfering with their ability to work. Allergic reactions can also go beyond irritated, itchy skin, causing breathing problems and more severe issues.

A common belief is that users can avoid allergy issues simply by using vinyl or nitrile gloves instead of latex gloves. Many believe that latex gloves are the sole cause of disposable gloves allergies. However, this just isn’t true. This is because it’s easy to confuse latex allergies with chemical allergies. Disposable glove manufacturers use chemicals to treat gloves of all types, whether they be latex, vinyl, or nitrile. These chemicals reduce the tack (stickiness) of the glove, and overall make it more usable.

Of all of the allergies caused by disposable glove use, latex allergies are the most serious, since a latex allergy can result in anaphylactic shock. However, as mentioned, before, latex isn’t the only glove allergy culprit. For instance, manufacturers often use carbamates and thiazoles to treat nitrile gloves. These two chemicals can cause skin allergies. Also, some vinyl gloves also use activation agents that can cause skin allergies.

If you have a concern about whether or not your work gloves are causing a skin allergy, consult your doctor.

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