Latex Gloves Posing Increasing Problem for Healthcare Workers

Have you ever noticed irritation on your hands after wearing latex gloves? If you work in healthcare, you’re certainly not the only one.

New research has found that while most healthcare workers tend to believe that they have a latex allergy, another option should be considered as well: hand urticaria (hives). Glove-related hives are believed to be caused by a combination of constantly putting gloves on and taking them off, as well as the pressure the glove itself exerts.

Given that healthcare workers are frequent glove users, they are definitely more likely to experience glove-related hives and based on recent trends in the industry, it is believed that it’s becoming an increasing occupational problem.

If these reactions continue to only be classified as latex allergies, this could pose significant consequences later on. A treatment plan for the right condition must be put in place, and trying to treat an allergy instead of hives may prolong recovery and finding the correct solution.

In my practice, we would treat those with urticaria by prescribing daily antihistamines, and if a few months pass by with no more reactions, we would begin to wean them off the medicine. Contrary to what most people think, latex allergies are not as prevalent as most people think, and it is often a case of urticaria instead.

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