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 isn't known, but it's believed that repeated exposure to latex can trigger the symptoms.
There are three kinds of latex reactions:
- Irritant contact dermatitis: This is the least dangerous kind of reaction; it's 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 (like 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. Since the best option is prevention, here are our top picks of latex free gloves for household chores.
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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 won't 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 especially helpful when washing dishes. The gloves come in small, medium and large sizes. and large sizes.
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Mr. Clean's Hands So Soft Latex Free gloves are strong without the irritating effects of latex. These gloves are reusable and designed to stand up to the test of any job. They also have a moisturizer added to benefit your hands while they work. The fingertips are reinforced with grippers to help prevent breakage and slipping. The gloves come in sizes small, medium and large.
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Playtex's Vinyl Latex Free gloves are a great disposable option for people with latex sensitivities or allergies. The gloves come 10 to a package and aren't very expensive. They are tough enough to handle many household jobs.