Don’t delay, prevent today
Contact dermatitis – Allergies. Don’t delay, prevent today.
Prevention is not only better than cure but is crucial and imperative, especially amongst healthcare professionals. The prognosis of occupational irritant and allergic dermatitis is unfortunately poor but today surgeons, nurses and assistants are aware of the allergic risks attributed to both natural and synthetic rubber gloves. MPXX™ which stands for maximum protection is the innovative purifying technology which allows healthcare professionals to work with and benefit from the cleanest product on the market: gloves with unquantifiable levels of allergens and undetectable chemical residues – including the carcinogenic migratable N-Nitrosamines.
As the main interface with the environment, the skin is in the hazardous position of routine exposure and assault from exogenous chemicals and physical agents. Fortunately, most of these exposures result in no clinically apparent disease. However, in some circumstances, an exposure results in a cascade of pathogenic events leading to ongoing inflammation and clinical contact dermatitis (CD). CD is highly prevalent, representing more than 90% of occupational skin disorders, giving good reason for its relevant socioeconomic impact. In addition, it usually adopts a chronic and refractory clinical evolution, determining a considerable degree of physical handicap and compromise in the quality of life of the affected subjects. 
Contact dermatitis can be any skin inflammation that occurs when the skin’s surface comes in contact with a substance originating outside the body. There are two kinds of contact dermatitis, irritant and allergic.
Irritant contact dermatitis is common, non- allergic, and the symptoms can be dry, itchy, irritated areas on the skin around the area of contact. It is usually caused by an irritant, such as the chemicals commonly used in the manufacture of hand products and gloves. It can also be caused by water, (including improper hand drying before donning gloves,) soaps, detergents, solvents, acids, alkalis and friction. Diagnosis is made by reviewing the patient’s medical history, current symptoms, and exclusion of Type IV and Type I hypersensitivity.
Allergic contact dermatitis (type IV hypersensitivity) often manifests as an itchy, red rash, sometimes with small blisters, beginning approximately 6 to 48 hours after contact. Like irritant dermatitis, it is usually confined to the areas of contact. It can result from exposure to accelerators and other chemicals used in the manufacture of natural or synthetic rubber gloves. Diagnosis is made by reviewing the patient’s medical history, current symptoms and by performing a skin patch test.
Chemical accelerators are used in the glove manufacturing process to “accelerate” the linkage of rubber molecules in natural rubber latex or synthetic rubber latex, such as nitrile and vinyl. The chemicals transform the liquid rubber into a thin, strong and elastic glove film, and stabilizes the material. These sulfur-based chemical accelerators (dithiocarbamates, thiurams and mercaptobenzothiazoles (MBT)) cause the majority of skin dermatitis reactions. Many gloves on the market are aiming at minimising residual accelerators but it is impossible to define an acceptable level for these chemicals because all allergic reactions are based on individual sensitivity.
However, accelerator free gloves does not mean chemical free gloves. Users should be aware that there are much more chemicals or residues of chemicals that could trigger skin problems or so-called (allergic) contact dermatitis. Individuals may be reacting to other substances sometimes used in the manufacture of gloves, such as lanolin, polyoxypropyleneglycol (a coagulant,) dyes (organic or inorganic,) quaternary ammonium compounds, and preservatives. Specifically, replacing one chemical by another chemical could seem relevant for now, but can later prove insufficient. Users should ask the question: “How chemical residue free is an accelerator free glove?” The French study and research group on contact dermatitis GERDA published a review article of Marie-Bernadette Cleenewerck in Eur J Dermatol  in which she concludes that in order to recommend appropriate substitution gloves, it is important to know their chemical composition exactly. Furthermore, the conclusion is made that due to changes in manufacturing processes and the composition of medical and surgical gloves, users should remain vigilant and follow the latest updates in the future. The fact that not only in Japan, but all over the world synthetic product related type IV allergies are on the rise means there is a collective reaction to a widespread trend of allergy.
 Iris S Ale; Howard A Maibach, Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2010;6(2):291-310.
 EJD, vol. 20, no 4, July-August 2010.
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