Cutaneous problems related to glove use in health care workers

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Title Cutaneous problems related to glove use in health care workers
Year 2000
CREOD Investigators Sean Mace, Linn Holness
CREOD Research Program Occupational Skin Disease
Research Theme Health Services – diagnosis, Burden – identification of allergens
Funder Unfunded
Product Type Student project
Background Health care workers use gloves. Hand dermatitis related to gloves may be irritant, Type I or Type allergy or a combination thereof. Traditionally, investigations do not include both prick and patch testing.
Study Focus (Research Question/Goals/
The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of irritant and allergic contact dermatitis and contact urticaria in health care workers presenting with hand dermatitis thought to be related to glove use.

Retrospective chart review of 55 workers with abstraction of clinical information and prick and patch test results.

Key Findings
  • 61% had irritant contact dermatitis.
  • 31% had allergic contact dermatitis.
  • 27% had contact urticaria.
  • 11% had both allergic contact dermatitis and contact urticaria.
  • 95% were deemed to be work-related.
Implications for Health/Labour Policy and Practice The importance of assessment for both Type I and Type IV allergy is identified in health care workers using latex gloves.
Publication Information Publications

  • Holness DL, Mace S. The results of evaluating health care workers with prick and patch testing. Am J Contact Dermatitis. 2001;12:88-92.


  • Holness DL. Results of prick and patch test assessment of health care workers with skin complaints.  4th International Conference on Occupational Health for Health Care Workers.  Montreal, September 1999.