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Oct 10, 2011 08:19 PM

Washing Dishes & Latex Gloves

So my doctor recommended I start wearing gloves while washing dishes (as it may aggravate some eczema on my fingers) and I picked up a pair of reusable latex gloves after the appointment. It's a month and a half later and they've developed a crack on one of the fingers (not a puncture, the gloves split on their own). I've had this trouble with latex gloves before, they all eventually do this, and I find washing dishes with a damp on the inside glove to be exceedingly unpleasant. This is why I was just using my bear hands for the longest time.

Anyways, getting to the point, I need to use gloves to wash dishes, and I don't like holes in them. Are there brands of gloves that will hold up over time (I can deal with replacing them every year or so, but monthly seems excessively wasteful to me) or is this an item I'm just going to have to get used to tossing on a regular basis? Is there an easy and cheap way to patch small holes in the gloves? Are gloves an item I can keep stock on, or do they have a shelf life?

Any tips or insight here would be appreciated.

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  1. My tip would be to research nutritional supplements such as fish oil and probiotics to support your health. Next, buy a less toxic brand of dish soap.

    Skin issues are usually a problem with shedding toxins. A nutritional approach would be a win-win for you.

    If you must wear gloves, you're probably stuck with replacing them. Can you wear some sort of cotton gloves inside the rubber ones to absorb the moisture?

    I sympathize.

    8 Replies
    1. re: sandylc

      As a fellow sufferer of eczema, I have to disagree with your statement that this condition is a result of "shedding toxins." What it is is a problem with dry skin that doesn't stay moisturized. I have the problem on my hands, and elsewhere, and I have to be viligant. For me it is worse when my allergies kick up.

      For sandy, I'd respectfully suggest that you try to afford a dishwasher if possible, that you do NOT use antibacterial detergent on your hands, and that you keep a tube of Cetaphil moisturizer, or some other similar brand, by the sink. Moisturize your hands before going to bed. Good luck finding decent gloves. I might look for the neoprene Mr. Clean gloves mentioned below, myself. I don't wash dishes much, but these might help my hands.

      Its the hot water when you wash dishes that is killing your hands. Those of us with eczema are instructed not to shower in hot water for a reason. If a dishwasher is not in your future, is there someone else in the household who can take over the dirty dish detail, at least until you get your condition under better control I really sympathize with you with this condition. It is such a pain.

      1. re: sueatmo

        I developed eczema when I started to work in a kitchen full-time. The constant wet to dry to wet conditions were terrible for my skin. And then I got an allergy to latex from using latex gloves all the time.

        So I would recommend NOT using latex gloves to avoid developing an allergy. But there are some good alternatives. Looks like the OP is in the Toronto area...Canadian Tire and Shoppers both carry non-latex dish gloves. The ones from Shopper's last much, much longer than the Cdn Tire ones. And to make them last longer, we turn them inside out and rinse the inside after using (prevents them from getting stinky, too).

        And I highly recommend Bag Balm for your eczema. I put it on every night and rarely get flare-ups any more on my hands.

        1. re: sueatmo

          I'm sorry, I see where you got your idea that I have skin troubles - I don't. I've just known many others who have had problems and wanted to offer sympathy.

          You are right that, as I also stated (less well than you did) that the choice of soap is very important.

          Fish oil supplements are better at moisturizing skin than topical treatments; however both are indicated when the problem is extreme.

          1. re: sandylc

            The op stated that she has eczema on her fingers, as I do. Sooeygun and I were responding to that problem. Washing dishes in hot water will tear the skin up of some one with eczema, and I don't think the problem can remedied with fish oil. When you deal with eczema, you have to keep your skin moisturized. Sg uses bag balm; I use Cetaphil.


            1. re: sueatmo

              I 100% guarantee you that taking fish oil internally will moisturize your skin. Really.

              1. re: sandylc

                I've been taking fish oil daily for several years and it doesn't even make a DENT in the eczema I get in the wintertime. What DOES help:

                - The Rx ointment my dermatologist prescribed
                - Someone else to lend a hand with the dishes more often
                - Bag Balm or anything else heavy duty at night with gloves when you sleep

                Oh, and dishwashing gloves help, too, of course...but the three steps above--especially the first two--are most helpful to me, personally.

                FWIW, I always carry Aveda's Hand Relief with me. It is my favorite hand treat, ultra rich and I love how it smells, too!

                1. re: sandylc

                  I have tried fish oil and it did moisturize my skin very marginally. Unfortunately, when you have bad eczema, fish oil just isn't enough. It doesn't moisturize enough to counteract the effects of water and other factors that are drying out your hands. I'm lucky that going up to the strongest medicated prescription cream has beaten it back so that I mostly just rely on Bag Balm unless I have a major flare-up (usually after a big weekend of cooking). One of my co-workers had to have shots to treat hers. Hers was so bad that her hands looked like she was wearing red gloves.

                  I once had a doctor look at my eczema and say very accusingly 'you've been scratching. You shouldn't scratch it'. I asked if she had eczema and she didn't so she just didn't understand how damn itchy it can be.

            2. re: sueatmo

              Cetaphil, like many lotions and moisturizers (or products for that matter), contain formaldehyde/parabens/preservatives that highly exacerbate eczema.

              As a life-long sufferer of eczema, I have finally found relief with completely paraben-free lotions. California Baby (sold at Target and Whole Foods--at least in CA) are great products.

              Good luck.

          2. I know of no way to repair the gloves, so no help there. I think lasting a year is not realistic if you wash dishes every day. I buy Mr. Clean neoprene coated latex gloves. They've gotten very hard to find, but they are much more durable than other gloves I've tried, and they last me about six months, doing dishes regularly with very hot water, and the pair I use for house cleaning (bathroom, etc.) lasts even longer. But they do eventually get a hole in them, always in the right hand, I presume because I use that hand more vigorously and more often when cleaning. I have three or four left hand gloves that I'm keeping for who knows what reason. Maybe some day I'll find a left-handed person with a supply of right hand gloves, and we can swap!

            Anyway, I think that you need to find a more durable (probably more expensive) glove than what you've bought. There is no point to wearing the gloves once they break - keeping your hands dry is the point. Because they're hard to find, I buy mine in quantity and keep them for a long time, no problem with the shelf life so far. Go to a home improvement store (Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.) rather than the grocery store - they have all kinds of gloves for all kinds of uses. Better to pay a little more for the pair and have them last.

            1. I have similar skin problems and wear gloves anytime I get close to dish water.

              I used to buy generic or Playtex brand and yes, they were prone to simply wearing out in spots and leaking, like the material simply dissolved. I would toss them on a regular basis.

              Wegman's house brand of laytex gloves last a long time. I have yet to spring a leak in a pair. (I distroy mine by ripping them off or cutting via broken glasses)

              1. canadian tire sells a type of work or gardening glove that is made of light blue rubber-like material. they are smooth from the wrist down and textured, presumably for grip, on the hands and fingers. they come in two sizes. they cost $6 but easily outlast 6 pairs of dollar-store gloves. positives: they are great for the #1 reason i got them: to be able to wash my dishes in extra hot water. plus, i have never ripped a pair doing dishes. negatives: 1. the thick material means a loss of fine dexterity. you can test this in the store. 2. with such a long life, the inside of the glove gets dirty and has to be washed occasionally. 3. although they do not rip on me, the rubber-like material will start to age and become inflexible. this takes months.

                ok that is a long post for gloves but i wanted to use the better environmental choice (one long lasting pair pair vs a slew of thin pairs) although i haven't researched the materials that went into their manufacture. also, like you i got annoyed at the thin yellow ones that ripped every time i looked at a fork the wrong way.

                p.s. i once saw them at a metro/dominion but they were not there not regularly.



                1. I'm amazed the gloves lasted a month and a half! Mine only last 1-2 days before springing a leak or getting nasty enough that no gloves is more appealing. I keep a box of them under the sink, grab new and recycle the dead ones.