Dishwashing gloves can help prevent your hands from becoming dry and irritated, but some dishwashing gloves can present major problems for people with latex allergies.
Latex, also known as rubber or natural latex, comes from the milky sap of the rubber tree that grows in Southeast Asia and Africa. A latex allergy is an allergic reaction to the substances in natural latex. Rubber gloves are the main cause of allergic reactions, although latex is also found in condoms and other products as well as medical devices. The underlying cause of an allergy to latex is not known, but it is believed that repeated exposure to latex can trigger the symptoms.
There are three kinds of latex reactions, and each varies in severity.
- Irritant contact dermatitis: This is the least dangerous kind of reaction and is categorized as a non-allergenic skin reaction. It usually happens due to repeated exposure to the chemicals in latex gloves. Symptoms include itching, dryness, scaling, burning, and skin lesions.
- Allergic contact dermatitis: This involves a delayed reaction to the additives used in latex processing. The symptoms are the same as irritant contact dermatitis, but the reaction is more severe. It spreads to more parts of the body and it lasts for a longer time.
- Immediate allergic reaction (latex hypersensitivity): This is the most serious and severe reaction to latex. It can manifest as rhinitis (hay fever-like), cramps, hives, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and severe itching. While rare, symptoms can progress and include chest pain, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, tremors, anaphylactic shock, and potentially, death. People who fall into this category should always have an epinephrine injection kit on hand and use the auto-injector if there are any signs of anaphylaxis.
There is no cure for a latex allergy and the best option is to steer clear of latex. The alternatives are usually made from nitrile or vinyl. Take a look at the top three latex-free gloves on the market for household chores.
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Vileda Dermo Plus Latex-Free Gloves
Vileda's Dermo Plus Latex Free gloves combine all of the special features of latex household gloves in a latex-free form. Latex-sensitive people will not have to give up comfort, durability, or function with these gloves. The latex-free gloves are lined with cotton to make taking them on and off smooth and easy. The gloves feature slip resistance on the fingertips, which is especially helpful when washing dishes. The gloves come in small, medium, and large sizes.
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Mr. Clean Latex-Free Gloves
Mr. Clean's Satin Touch and Bliss lines of latex-free gloves are strong without the irritating effects of latex. These two types of gloves are reusable and designed to stand up to the test of any job. The Satin Touch line is made of nitrile, a substance that is more chemical- and puncture-resistant than latex. Nitrile products are usually blue-colored as a way to be easily identifiable. The Bliss line is also latex-free; the gloves come in white and are lined with soft cotton. Small, medium, and large sizes are available.
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Soft Scrub Premium Comfort vinyl gloves are lined with soft cotton. These latex-free gloves are perfect for household chores, such as cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom. The gloves feature textured fingers and palms to provide grip.