A study of contact dermatitis among operating theatre health personnel following the ban of powdered latex gloves


  • Chatpong Ngamchokwathana Occupational Medicine and Occupational Health Program, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University
  • Naesinee Chaiear Division of Occupational Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, Khon Kaen University
  • Jitladda Sakdapipanich Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University
  • Surasakdi Wongratanacheewin Graduate School, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
  • Sumalai Dechyotin Clinical Laboratory Section, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University
  • Somsamai Sripramai Nursing Department, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University
  • Prapassorn Khajornpipat Queen Sirikit Heart Center of the Northeast, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University


latex gloves, contact dermatitis, latex allergy, glove allergy, healthcare worker


Glove-related contact dermatitis is a common occupational disease in the healthcare industry, and it is categorized as a glove-related allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) and irritant contact dermatitis (ICD). Exposure to powdered latex gloves is a contributing factor in developing glove-related ACD and ICD. This quasi-experimental study aimed to study the decline of gloverelated contact dermatitis among nursing staff following a three-month ban on powdered latex gloves in the operating theatre at a university hospital in northeastern Thailand. During the ban, synthetic rubber gloves and nonpowdered latex gloves were used. Data were collected using a self-reported questionnaire sent to operating theatre nursing staff. The questionnaire response rate was 78.3%. The prevalence of glove-related contact dermatitis symptoms in the pre- and post-replacement phases was 17.8% (95%CI 11.7 - 24.5) and 4.9% (95%CI 1.8 - 8.6), respectively. In this case, the difference between those phases is 12.9% (95%CI 8.6 - 17.8). In the prereplacement phase, glove-related ACD and ICD were reported at 8.6% and 14.7%, while it was 2.5% and 3.7% in the post-replacement phase, respectively. After replacement, there were significant decreases in glove-related contact dermatitis (OR 0.24, 95%CI 0.1 - 0.53), glove-related ACD (OR 0.27, 95%CI 0.075 - 0.8), and glove-related ICD (OR 0.22, 95%CI 0.08 - 0.54). In conclusion, powdered latex gloves are associated with glove-related contact dermatitis, and the ban on such gloves significantly reduces glove-related contact dermatitis among nursing staff.


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