Jump to content

glove allergy

sherone sherone (New) New

Hello, I am a student nurse in the UK with a type 4 latex and natural rubber latex allergy (carba mix and thiuram mix). Does any one have the same allergy as me? I have been told I shouldn't be a nurse due to my allergy, but this is all I have ever wanted to do. Leaving this course doesn't even come into the equation for me. Does anyone else know what gloves may be suitable or anyone with the same allergy?

I was wearing vinyl gloves for clinical placement however they do not offer adequate protection against blood Bourne viruses.

Thank you all,



Specializes in Critical care. Has 11 years experience.

This is something that you should have spoken to occupational health about at the start of your course, they would have been able to give you advice and guidance about what action to take, it's what they're there for. Did you discuss this with them?

As for protection against BBV, the vast majority of gloves used in clinical practice are non latex, all non sterile gloves I use are non latex and provide adequate protection against BBV. The only place I've seen latex gloves used as standard is in theatre and there are non latex options for sterile gloves as well, because people with latex allergies still need operations.

lhflanurseNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Nurse Practitioner. Has 40 years experience.

Have you tried to use the other gloves over your vinyl ones?

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Merged two threads.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

I cannot even recall the last time I saw actual latex gloves. We all use non-latex and all the gloves we are provided give protection against BB pathogens.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Nitrile is the alternative in the U.S. I would guess it's also available in the UK

I'm a 2nd year student now, after continually asking my university to refer me to occupational health since commencing the course they finally have; to be told I shouldn't be a nurse, I'm unfit to be a nurse. the support has been really poor from the start. Vinyl gloves were fine to use until recently.

I have used nitrile blue gloves and accelerator free purple gloves but they have rubber accelerators in that I react to. I have double gloved over the vinyl and my hands become itchy and red :-(

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

Vinyl gloves were all we used when I worked in the hospital, unless the patient was on chemotherapy. Who told you they don't offer protection against blood borne illnesses?

I haven't seen latex anything in 100 years. A latex allergy will not prevent you from becoming a nurse.

My clinical educator said they were too permeable and they are against my current trusts infection control policy which is a problem. I have been using vinyl gloves problem free on my skin for 2 years and now I am being stopped from clinical placement until suitable gloves are found.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Can you nitrile like previous posters have mentioned? All I have every used in clinical in the purple nitrile ones.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

The OP is in the UK so product availability and quality (UK vinyl gloves vs US vinyl gloves) may differ. There are food grade vinyl gloves and medical grade vinyl gloves. Perhaps that's one of the issues.

I have tried the purple gloves and they exacerbate my allergy, my hands and forearms swell as though I have lymphodema. The vinyl have an increased permeability for prolonged use and research back in 1998 suggest they do not protect against bbv, also infection control policies in my current trust state vinyl gloves are not to be used. I have found hypoallergenic gloves however they do not conform to the European medical guidelines.

I am beginning to think my career is going to ending really prematurely.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

If occupational medicine has told you that there aren't products safe for you that meet trust standards, unfortunately you may be right about your options in nursing may be prematurely limited. I know there are vinyl gloves that meet US infection control standards as well as blue nitrile gloves safe for patient care and chemo that are safe for those with latex allergies.

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 11 years experience.

Just curious - here in the US a type 4 latex allergy is defined as a delayed hypersensitivity to latex. Does it mean the same thing in your country?

This must be extremely frustrating for you! I don't see how they can't provide you with gloves or at least direct you towards some to buy. I don't know how the UK does things, but as the others have mentioned there are patients with latex allergies who must require good non-latex gloves. You should be provided with these.

It sounds like you have a passion for nursing. You could make a difference to many people in your career. Don't let some gloves stop you, no matter what people say.


Specializes in Critical care. Has 11 years experience.

Are you in the RCN or Unison? It might be an idea to have a chat with them to see if they have any suggestions if you are a member.

There are different types of nitrile gloves available in the NHS, I know of several staff in my previous job who had different gloves ordered in for them because the standard ones weren't appropriate due to allergies.

Your university's occupational health department should have seen you prior to, or at the very start of your course and they should have asked about allergies that could affect you being in clinical practice, latex allergies are quite common and I know of nurses who are allergic to latex, it's not a barrier to being a nurse, you just have to be careful. If they're telling you they can't do anything about it now and you're in your second year then they've messed up, as they should have dealt with this before you started.