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Contact dermatitis - any healthcare workers??

(14 Posts)
Smurfgirl Thu 27-Jan-05 12:39:14

I work in healthcare and I have started to get sore scaly patches on my knuckles which I am 99% sure is from the powdered latex gloves that I wear at work. They don't hurt me or itch, but when I take them off my hands feel parched.

What can I do? Its not awful, but I don't want it getting anyworse. My colleagues say its just part of the job to get gross hands but I really don't want that.

I also wash my hands 10+ times on every shift I work which dries them out. I do moisturise but it doesn't seem to do anything.

Would E45 work?

misdee Thu 27-Jan-05 12:40:17

e45 contains lanolin which could aggreevate it. you could t4ry dermol 500 lotion, its lighter and also helps prevent infections, which could happoen if your hands become cracked.

bundle Thu 27-Jan-05 12:41:49

if you work in healthcare then it's up to your employer to reduce the risk of working making you ill - they should be able to advise you/refer you to an occupational health specialist or straight to a dermatologist who will know what's best

Chandra Thu 27-Jan-05 12:41:53

mmm... we used to get many examples of that at a newspaper I worked for but I believe it was stress induced. I would try something a bit stronger thatn E45, probably Aveeno or Eucerin. Drying your hands perfectly after every wash should also help (provided you are not using an air dryer all the time)

nailpolish Thu 27-Jan-05 12:42:27


in my hospital anyone who is allergic to latex is entitled to non-latex gloves, that will be provided just for them. so many people in my ward have problems that we dont have latex gloves at all. they are more expensive, but just tell them its not as expensive as you having to take time off work.

also, the hospital provides hand cream

Smurfgirl Thu 27-Jan-05 12:46:49

We asked for latex free ones and they said yes and then nothing happened. Its privatly owned, so getting them to spend money on staff is hard. I am scared if I complain I will loose my job and I don't want the hassle or a bad referance.

Nailpolish do you get sore hands from latex free gloves?

bundle Thu 27-Jan-05 12:47:30

are you a member of a trades union?

jamiesam Thu 27-Jan-05 13:14:54

I'm not a health care worker, but was advised by a nurse that it's more common to be allergic to the powder than the latex. Just a thought - alternative and possibly cheaper tack to request your hospital to purchase (or another way to ask your previous question again without seeming rude/pushy - ie, wondering if you'd ordered those non-latex gloves yet, as found out that powder free might be worth trying instead?)

nailpolish Thu 27-Jan-05 13:18:45

no my hands have never bothered me. i know you can get latex gloves that are powder free, or latex free. the latex free ones are pretty horrible, but they do help (ive been told)

if its an allergic reaction, cream wont help, just ease it

i know one girl who it got so bad for, first of all the ward she worked in had to use different giving sets for drips (apparently the ones she was using had latex in them) then eventually she had to be moved to an office job doing reasearch

are you in the rcn or unison?

Smurfgirl Thu 27-Jan-05 13:28:38

I am just a lowly care assistant in a private care home for old people so I am not in anything, its superhard to get them to do anything for the staff, even getting a new uniform is a huge battle.

I don't wear gloves that often, only when dealing with blood or sometimes when toileting.

Everyone at work seems to have this though, so I wonder if it is just the nature of the job because our hands are always in water or in powdered gloves?

bundle Thu 27-Jan-05 13:31:34

are there any unionised staff at all? you could approach someone who is in one and ask them about a meeting with management for across the board care on something like this. please don't put up with it.

nailpolish Thu 27-Jan-05 13:33:53

care assistants are not lowly

call a union - its not expensive and really good to have around

you need to hound them to get you gloves before it gets worse. write a letter and get everyone to sign it

Whizzz Thu 27-Jan-05 18:44:40

I'm in Health & Safety - not in healthcare but the regs are the same. You should be able to ask for non latex gloves without fear of getting into trouble. If it is the latex gloves that are causing the problems, it may continue to the point where you get so sensitised to them that you simply can't do your job. At least if you tried a different type of glove for a while, you could see if your condition improved. If it doesn't it may well be another factor such as soap or the powder in the gloves themselves. Hope you sort it out

Smurfgirl Thu 27-Jan-05 22:24:41

I didn't wear gloves today much at all and my hands are still awful so now I am not so sure, I am thinking maybe its just dunking them in water so much?

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