How to Choose the Right Exam Glove

With an ever increasing awareness of personal hygiene and sanitation, use of disposable medical gloves has grown manifold and become an integral part of everyday life. They are used by both healthcare and non-healthcare professionals as well as by individuals in day-to-day activities.

Surgical and exam gloves are two types of disposable medical gloves available in different materials. They are also powdered, non-powdered, sterile, non-sterile, coated or textured. Selection will depend on the end use.

Types of exam gloves based on specifications

There are various types of exam gloves based on the material, specifications and usage. They are chiefly made of latex, nitrite rubber, polyvinyl chloride and neoprene.

  • Powdered and non-powdered: Powdered gloves provide lubrication and are easier to wear. They are powdered using either cornstarch or lycopodium powder. But since cornstarch can impede healing, it is less likely to be used. The non-powdered ones are more popular.

  • Sterile or non-sterile: In most cases the gloves are sterile to prevent infection. But for general examination purposes, doctors also use non-sterile gloves.

Gloves are often treated with chlorine so it not necessary to powder them. The chlorine affects the latex material but also eliminates the soluble proteins that might cause allergic reactions.

Types of exam gloves based on specifications

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves

A synthetic rubber, nitrile is one of the most commonly used raw materials for medical gloves today. It has no latex protein and is more durable. Nitrile gloves can resist many chemicals and hence does not serve as a breeding ground for any negative reactions. The only drawback is that care has to be taken when dealing with highly reactive substances such as silver because the sulphur components in the gloves can react with them.

The Kimberly Clark Purple Nitrile Exam Gloves and the Cardinal Health Esteem Stretchy Nitrile Exam Gloves are two of the best specimens in the market today. They can handle all kinds of body fluids and bear the brunt of harshest chemicals.

Vinyl gloves

Vinyl gloves were created after many people started developing latex allergies due to excessive use of latex gloves. Usually non-powdered, vinyl gloves are odor free and one of their major advantages is that they can withstand all types of alcohol-based chemicals.

Gloves such as Medline Accutouch Synthetic Vinyl Powder-Free Exam Gloves and AMBITEX Supreme XP Stretch Vinyl Powder-Free Exam Gloves are flexible, durable and very smooth in texture.

Vinyl Gloves

Other best buys in this category are:

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves

The advent of nitrile and vinyl gloves has seen the usage of latex gloves reduce manifold. The first synthetic material to be used for making gloves, latex is basically one of the commonest forms of rubber. It is lighter than normal rubber and combining latex with a small amount of some other material can create a smother texture than gloves of other material.

For all those who still love going old school, the best buys in latex exam gloves are TIDI Safety Plus Powder-Free Latex Exam Gloves and Medline Sterile Powder-Free Latex Exam Gloves. Cleared by the NFPA, their thickness eliminates the need for double gloving.

The advent of powder-free and synthetic gloves has greatly helped medical science and treatment as organic gloves and powder involve risks of complications in treatment.


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