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There use to be a time when caregivers and healthcare workers had very few options when it came to exam gloves. Today, that’s all changed. Now they have at least five main categories of exam gloves to choose from. They’re nitrile, polyisoprene, vinyl, latex and neoprene. There are variations within those five categories too, including sterile, non-sterile, powdered and powder-free. So what are the differences among them? Here’s a quick overview for caregivers interesting in giving exam gloves a try:

Latex exam gloves are a common choice among caregivers who assist people with activities of daily living (e.g. toileting). They are excellent at protecting the hands and wrists from bodily fluids, bacteria and viruses. Plus, they’re considered eco-friendly because they decompose rather quickly. However, there are some caregivers who are allergic to Latex. So they often choose one of the other types of exam gloves we mentioned earlier.

Nitrile, neoprene and polyisoprene gloves are just as durable and versatile as Latex gloves. Ones made with vinyl are not. They sometimes develop tiny holes that are hard to see with the naked eye. As such, many caregivers opt to only use them in situations when there are no fluids, bacteria, viruses or chemicals involved. Examples include helping people roll over in bed or transfer from the couch to a wheelchair.

We should also mention that neither the polyisoprene, nitrile, vinyl nor neoprene exam gloves tend to decompose. Thus, they are not looked at as very environmentally friendly. However, they provide levels of protection that so many caregivers need during the normal course of their work that they shouldn’t be overlooked. To learn more about them and all of the other exam gloves available for home or professional use, please contact us at Diabetes Health Supplies. We carry a variety of exam gloves, including nitrile, Latex, vinyl and powder-free.

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