If you or members of your clinical staff are experiencing skin irritation, it’s important to respond accurately to the cause – not base it on a hunch. Focus first on common non-immunologic reactions, such as soaps and vulnerability from damaged skin. Approved moisturizers, rehydrating products and glove liners may help. Detergents, fragrances and products used at work or outside are more common irritants than synthetic gloves.
It’s important to mention that you should follow the direction of your facility’s Occupational Health Services, hospital policy and/or your individual healthcare plan. If ACD is suspected, this may include an evaluation by a dermatologist or allergist for patch testing for specific agents. Patch tests exist for all accelerants.
Switching to non-accelerant gloves should be done if it is determined that the accelerant has caused an immune response. However, “glove hopping” – frequently switching gloves in response to dermatitis – is counterproductive because it’s important to allow enough time for the wearer to adapt to a different glove or develop an understanding of delayed allergic reactions. For those with a diagnosed sensitivity to certain chemical accelerators, who still need to wear a surgical glove or a more protective exam glove, they may want to consider wearing a glove liner underneath the surgical or exam glove.