Although it’s incredibly rare, it’s still possible to develop allergies to nitrile gloves. If you recent switched to this type of glove material due to a reaction to latex gloves, keep your eye out for symptoms that point to a similar intolerance. If you develop any of the symptoms below, discontinue use of the gloves to let your skin heal.
Hives are usually the first symptom that appears due to an allergic response. Hives are red or white raised bumps that may severely itch. Many times, hives will appear and disappear within minutes well beyond the gloved area. Often times, hives can be treated by washing the area with mild soap and water, then rubbing hydrocortisone cream into your skin.
Continued exposure often leads to the convergence of the hives into one big rash. The rash may swell up considerably, which makes the skin on your hands feel tight and irritated. The swelling should not extend past the gloved area during a typical reaction. If it does, seek treatment at a doctor’s office or hospital.
Cracked skin indicates that you’re suffering from a serious intolerance to the material in question. The cracks might burn and sting as your sweat runs into the divots. In addition, the cracks could start to bleed or even become infected. This type of reaction warrants immediate medical attention.
Solving the problem
If you can, it’s smart to give your hands time to breathe and heal from the rash, swelling, and cracks. Otherwise, you run the risk of simply worsening the original reaction. After healing, try out vinyl gloves to see if the problem clears up completely. If you continue to have reactions without wearing any nitrile gloves you may not have an allergy to the suspected material. Instead, you might be allergic to your own sweat or other substances in your environment. Consider having an allergy test performed to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.