Allergic to Foam/Gloves/Soap?!

  1. Hey guys!

    I am allergic to some or all of our hand supplies at the hospital where I work. I first thought it was the foam. Stopped using it and developed the same rash. Now I am thinking I am either allergic to the gloves and or the soap...or god forbid ALL of it! It's becoming more painful too - started out just annoying and now it's truly bothersome...

    Anyone else have experience with this?

    Here are the products we have:

    Latex-free nitrile gloves
    Triclosan Soap - Steris or similar
    Steris Alcare Plus 62% Ethyl Alcohol foam

    Thanks for any suggestions and help you guys may have!

    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Mar 31, '13
  2. Visit SarahJade4 profile page

    About SarahJade4, BSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 15
    Critical Care RN
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   diosa78
    I'm pretty much in the same boat. I went to bag a patient 2 days ago with no gloves on and I'm allergic to what the mask is made of. I looked down and my hand was one big hive that went up to my upper arm. The doc yelled for someone else to bag and then told me "You need to take care of that." I have an appointment with an allergist next week but I've tried it all - benadryl, allegra, claritin, zyrtec, vistaril, clobetasol, hydrocortisone and my hands are still a mess. I have non-healing patches from where I've had hives. They've been there for months and I was told I have eczema, but the cracking, bleeding, redness, and itching are driving me crazy. I'm interested to hear what others have to say.
  4. by   FurBabyMom
    I get a rash too. I personally think it is the latex free nitrile gloves, for me at least. We use purell for our alcohol rub, and I use it at home with none of the problems I have at work. The alcohol rub is drying, which is a little bit of the problem, but not nearly the only problem. When I use the alcohol rub at home, and use lotion, the dryness is not an issue, the lotion helps. I can't always use the lotion at work though, it's impractical. I try to take really good care of my hands (I do the lotion with cotton gloves thing at night to help reduce trauma at work even from the soaps and such)...

    I get a rash that looks like a bunch of little spots and after a certain point, my skin breaks/cracks in some of the places. I have to be careful and watch out for myself. When I went to employee health, their answer was that my skin was dry (it was, but I didn't use the lotion or anything else because of the spots)... They insist it's winter dryness... So we'll see what they have to say the next time I go in later in the spring or summer (cause until it gets figured out, it will happen again). That being said, you have to be an advocate for yourself. I keep track of what seems to help and what doesn't help. And I do the employee health paperwork so there is a trail regarding the issue.
  5. by   tokmom
    We were told by the infection control person that personal lotions are the cause as the chemicals react to the gloves. That is why they only want us to use hospital lotions and nothing personal. Take it for what it's worth.
  6. by   littlekaneRN
    My guess is that it's the soap. I work in dermatology and we see a lot of hand dermatitis, the mot likely culprit is soap (though, it can be anything). It just strips of your skin, especially if you are washing frequently (aren't we all?). I would certainly suggest a trip to see a derm. Even if its not the soap, they could always do a patch test to see what you are allergic to in terms of contact allergens. In our office you can bring your own products in to test sometimes. Do your best to use unscented soaps and keep moisturized as best as you can.

    Try Soaking your hands in plain, warm water each night for 20 minutes, then shake off the excess water so your hands are still moist, then apply Vaseline with plain cotton gloves-- it may help.

    Good luck!
  7. by   caughtbuckinoff
    Are your nitrile gloves the blue ones? We have the option between two gloves at the hospital; blue and clear. Both are latex free but every time that I've ever used the blue ones, my hand eczema surfaces with a vengeance. I have no trouble when I use the gel/soap/hand lotion as long as I use the clear gloves as well. Throw in the blue ones and its over.
  8. by   danceyrun
    Yes I do too. My nurse manager was nice enough to order cotton gloves to wear under the gloves which helps.
  9. by   SarahJade4
    Thanks for all the replies!!! I think it's the gloves! My boss has ordered me some clear vinyl gloves to use instead if the powder free latex free purple nitrile gloves. I really hope it helps.

    My rash starts off as little dots and then gets bigger, and dries and cracks. It almost ends up looking like a burn.

    I hope I'm not allergic to anything else. Sounds awful about the hives while bagging a patient! I feel like this rash looks bad to my patients as well...I have been wearing gloves for simple things just to cover it while with a patient.

    Again, thanks everyone!!!