Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What can be done about the redness on my hands?"
I work in a kitchen where I have to wear latex gloves all day. Over the last couple of months, when its be very hot, I notice when I take the gloves off, the back of my hands are very red. This lasts even into my non-work hours. Anything I can do about this?
There are two possibilities here. One is that you have an allergic reaction to the latex itself. Latex allergies are actually very common, and they can develop at any point during your life; therefore, even though you have never been allergic before, you may be becoming allergic now. If this is simply a latex allergy, then switching to a different type of water proof glove should clear things up. The other possibility is that you have eczema, which is an inflammation of the skin, which leads to dryness, redness, flaking, and itching. The condition is very common in people who come into contact with chemicals and water and who work with their hands like you do. Often, eczema can be solved simply with good moisturizing. You may want to try applying a thick 'greasy' moisturizing agent several time a day to your hands and see if that helps. You could also try an over the counter steroid cream, such as hydrocortisone, to see if that can clear up the red areas. If these methods don't work then you will want to set up a visit with your primary care doctor; they can determine if you need any stronger medicines.
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