Nitrile, Latex, or Latex-Free Medical Gloves: Which Works for Me?
There are many varieties of medical gloves. How do you choose which type of gloves to use? What should you look for in an exam glove? What is a nitrile glove
? How do you know if you are allergic to latex?
It can be daunting to see a shelf or online medical supply store
full of many varieties of the same item. They are made of different materials and they have different costs, so how do you know which one you need? Personal preference is always a factor. You want your exam gloves to fit well and to be comfortable. You also need to be able to work while you wear them. Exam gloves that fall off your hands or impede movement would not be helpful to you at all. Exam gloves come in a variety of sizes. If you aren't sure if you wear a small or a medium, it is a good idea to try a box of each to get a feel for which works best for you. Buying small amounts of medical exam gloves in different varieties can help you find that perfect pair. Powdered gloves are no longer available so your only option is to get powdered medical gloves, so now, all medical exam gloves are powder-free.
The next choice you would need to make is latex or latex-free? Which is better and why? There are many people who are sensitive to latex. The Mayo Clinic
has a very informative article about the signs of latex sensitivity and the symptoms associated with latex allergy. Even if you don't personally have a sensitivity to latex, many people choose to use latex-free in case they will be coming into contact with someone who is allergic. Home health care nurses generally prefer latex-free exam gloves as an example. I think that one draw to latex is fit and tactile sensation. Latex gloves allow for a high level of protection from bodily fluids and they resist tearing. With the right fit, latex exam gloves can feel like a second skin.
Nitrile Medical Gloves?
Nitrile gloves are an excellent choice because they offer great fit and tactile sensation. Nitrile gloves can also fit like a second skin and they offer a great resistance to punctures and/or tears. Nitrile gloves are popular because they are highly flexible and offer protection from a variety of chemicals. They are generally safe for people who are allergic to latex because they are made of a synthetic rubber.
All Medical Exam Gloves are Disposable
Remember, all medical gloves, whether they are latex or latex-free, are disposable. To protect yourself from bodily fluids, chemicals, or any type of mess, they should never be taken off and put back into the box. All disposable exam gloves
are a one time use item. Remember, the purpose of disposable exam gloves is to keep you from coming into contact with potentially dangerous substances.