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Should You Wear Nitrile Gloves for Protection?

Healthcare professionals have been using rubber gloves for years as a means of protection. Rubber gloves work well but nitrile gloves may provide better protection. They may also be better for people who have an allergic reaction to traditional rubber.


What are Nitrile Gloves?

Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic latex. The best thing about latex is that it doesn't tear or puncture as easily as standard rubber, which is normally very thin. The gloves are also good for protecting the hands from various chemicals.


Nitrile gloves are slightly different from your typical latex gloves. Standard latex gloves are hard to slide onto the hands. There's a lot of resistance, so it takes a while to get the gloves onto the hands. Nitrile gloves have less resistance, so they slide on and off easily but they're not loose enough to slide from the hands without assistance.


Nitrile gloves are some or our best sellers and they are highly recommended; however, they might not be best for your situation. Gloves created specifically for medical use are rated based on their protective qualities.


The grades usually range from 1 to 3, with a rating of 3 indicating the highest level of protection. Gloves that are listed with a “medical grade” are intended for heavy duty medical use. People such as paramedics should always wear medical grade gloves.


You have to decide how much protection you really need. If you work in a hospital or nursing home then nitrile gloves would probably be a wise choice. The more patients you deal with, the more protection you need.


But, if you only provide at home care for one patient then plain rubber gloves may provide all the protection you need. That is unless you're allergic to standard rubber. In that case, nitrile gloves or vinyl gloves may be best. It's also possible to be allergic to nitrile or vinyl, so you should be sure you're not allergic before buying a pair.


What about the Powder?

Nitrile gloves and medical gloves in general need donning powder so that the gloves will slide on easily. Talc was the most commonly used powder to achieve this but now cornstarch is used more often. The switch came about on the suggestion of the Food and Drug Administration. They found that talc often caused medical complications; therefore, cornstarch is now the recommended donning powder for all medical gloves.


Cornstarch has its own set of problems. Some users experience extreme dryness and cracked skin because cornstarch is highly absorbent. When the skin is stripped of its natural oils and moisture, it presents a new set of problems. For one, the cracked skin can allow chemicals or other infectious particles to enter the skin. So before you wear any type of medical glove, you should know how your skin will react to the donning powder. Or you can always try to find a glove that's powder free. In fact, our top selling medical glove is powder free and many people prefer gloves without any powder.


The best thing you can do is read about the nitrile gloves you plan to purchase. Make sure you understand exactly what you're getting and if the gloves are best for your situation.