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Dry Skin a Cause of Allergy to Latex Gloves Reports Water and Skin Researcher

Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) December 10, 2013

The chances that wearing latex gloves will cause an allergic reaction is reduced considerably if the wearer makes sure the skin on their hands is healthy and moist rather than dry and dehydrated. This discovery, by water and skin researcher Sharon Kleyne is good news for the rapidly growing number of individuals required to wear protective gloves in the work place or who choose to wear them when performing certain tasks at home.

Sharon Kleyne is Founder of Bio Logic Aqua Research, a research, education, technology and product development company specializing in fresh water, atmospheric water vapor and skin and eye dehydration. Nature’s Mist® Face of the Water®, one of the Research Center’s global consumer products, provide a mist of 100% fresh water that instantly supplements the water content of dry, dehydrated skin to improve skin health. Kleyne hosts the globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes.

The use of rubber globes to protect the hands, according to Kleyne, is growing dramatically. More and more laws require these gloves for workers in medical and food handling professions. In addition, people are increasingly choosing to wear them while performing tasks such as washing dishes, gardening or working with household chemicals.

The preferred material for rubber gloves is latex, either natural or synthetic. Latex gloves, Kleyne notes, are inexpensive, light, flexible, and have the most natural feel. They are the least likely to interfere with hand and finger movement, which is important to surgeons. Latex gloves are the most likely, however, to produce an allergic reaction on the skin of the hands. Latex alternatives such as neoprene and vinyl are either more expensive or have a less natural feel.

According to Kleyne there are three categories of latex allergy, the most common of which is entirely preventable with proper skin care (See “Contact Dermatitis and Latex Allergy,” Center for Disease Control,, July 10, 2013).

“Type I latex allergy” is by far the rarest and involves an adverse reaction to certain proteins in the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree. Natural latex from other species of rubber tree is far less likely to produce a reaction. Synthetic latex will not produce a reaction.

“Type IV latex allergy” is also known as “allergic contact dermatitis.” This is far more common than Type I and involves a skin rash with blistering and oozing of the skin. It is caused by certain chemicals used in the processing of rubber products. The solution is to use synthetic latex gloves, vinyl or neoprene gloves, minimize glove use and keep hand skin well hydrated. .

“Irritant contact dermatitis” is the most common type of reaction to latex gloves and is not considered a true allergy. This involves dry, itchy, irritated areas on the hands, caused either by the frequent use of natural or synthetic latex gloves, or by associated exposure to other workplace irritants. Frequent hand washing, incomplete hand drying, perspiring under the gloves, frequent exposure to hand sanitizers, and the starchy powder found on some gloves, can aggravate symptoms.

Irritant contact dermatitis, according to Kleyne, can be prevented by minimizing glove use and by making sure the skin of the hands is well humidified and not dry or dehydrated. Dry hand skin is far more susceptible to all dermatitis, allergens and irritants.

Kleyne notes that most tap water, when used for hand washing, will not increase the skin’s water content because tap water usually has an alkaline pH (more than 7.0) whereas human skin has a lightly acidic pH (less than 7.0). Common tap water also often contains chemicals such as chlorine that can further dehydrate and irritate skin. Most hand cleansers are also dehydrating.

According to Kleyne, water that is chlorine-free, slightly acidic and applied as a fine mist is most likely to be beneficially absorbed and retained by skin. Kleyne recommends the application of Nature’s Mist® Face of the Water® immediately before putting on rubber gloves, whether latex or not. Kleyne notes that “moisturizing” lotions do not add water to dry skin but are beneficial in helping sealing in existing skin water. For maximum benefit, the all-water mist application should be followed by a hand lotion.

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