Category Archives: Hand and Skin Health

The Real Cost of Sweaty Gloves—It’s Not Just About Comfort

SW Safety Health Glove Water

SW Safety was recently featured in the November 2017 issue of OH&S Magazine. “The Real Cost of Sweaty Gloves—It’s Not Just About Comfort” discusses common problems experienced when wearing single-use gloves. The article also addresses potential additional costs including associated health care and decreased productivity.

The article goes on to discuss the long-term effects that users experience, including skin rashes and dermatitis, as well as allergic reactions. These and other negative outcomes can often be prevented by using the right glove for the situation.

Read the full article on OH&S’s website here

SW Safety – Glove Technologies

SW Safety Solutions has for many years pushed the limits in quality single-use glove construction. Not just for a better, more reliable glove, but for the end user as well. Glove usage is a requirement in many work applications, and because of the nature that gloves function, many serious reactions have surfaced. From dry and itchy rashes, to severe contact allergies, and more. SW Safety has made comfort and safety an on-going priority. To that end the following Hand Health and Performance Technologies have been developed for single use nitirle and latex gloves:

Hand Health Technologies

ACTIValoe TechnologyACTIValoe®

Patented Aloe Vera technology soothes and moisturizes hands while you work.
SW gloves with ACTIValoe inner coating have been shown to decrease irritation, inflammation, contact dermatitis, dryness and redness, and to improve overall health and appearance of skin.

Through a stringent purification and decoloring process, ACTIValoe material is refined to deliver a mix of polysaccharide molecular weights in the range of 50,000 to 200,000 Da optimal to support the skin benefits of Aloe Vera. When activated through the skin’s natural hydration process, Aloe Vera is delivered directly to the epidermis with a moisturizing and soothing effect.

Hand health issues including dermatitis, perspiration and general discomfort, challenge life science professionals required to wear gloves to perform their jobs. Wearing single use gloves can perpetuate an occlusive environment that can damage the exterior layers of skin on the hand. SW single use gloves with ACTIValoe technology have been shown to soothe and moisturize workers’ hands.1

DriTek Technology

Keep cool and comfortable during long term glove applications.
DriTek sweat management technology provides an absorbent lining to control moisture and enhance user comfort.

Controlled moisture improves dexterity and tactility, better handling of tips, tubes and lab instruments. It also helps maintain a healthier environment for the skin. Excessive moisture can compromise skin integrity resulting in irritation, dryness and other conditions.

DriTek doesn’t stop at better comfort and skin protection. It also delivers superior durability and long life. Multilayer construction results in certifi ed ANSI Level 3 Abrasion Resistance.

The DriTek liner also facilitates easier donning, even with wet hands.

pH Natural Technology
pH Natural®

Proprietary pH balance technology helps maintain your skin’s natural defenses.
Infused on the inner surface of the glove, SW pH Natural technology restores and maintains an optimum pH level to support the skin’s natural healing ability and help protect the hand from heightened pH levels. In a study conducted by Stanford University, subjects wearing pH Natural gloves experienced a decrease in the development of redness, scaling, irritation and roughness.2

By matching the skin’s natural 5.5 pH level, this all-natural, pH-balancing lining helps to prevent disruption of the acid mantle, a very thin, slightly acidic fi lm on the skin that serves as the fi rst line of defense against the elements. This helps maintain the integrity of the stratus corneum, or the skin’s outer most layer responsible for the skin’s barrier function.

Due to the presence of excess moisture, irritants and manufacturing residuals, an elevated skin pH level is common among individuals with high glove usage.

Performance Technologies

TouchTek Technology

Protect your hands and valuable samples from glove-borne manufacturing residuals.
SW TouchTek technology reduces residual chemical irritants and contaminants from manufacturing. This enhances glove quality on both the outer and inner surfaces of the glove.

Reduced residuals on the outer glove surface results in lower risk of contamination or interference with sensitive lab work.

A cleaner inner glove surface helps prevent the risk of contact dermatitis due to allergic reactions to residual manufacturing chemicals.

Protecting hands, as well as lab instruments, vessels and ultimately valuable samples from contaminants, enhances lab worker comfort, safety and overall productivity.

MilTek Technology

Get long-lasting protection without sacrifi cing tactility and dexterity.
MilTek technology delivers a more consistent material thickness across the entire glove – from fingers to palm to cuff.

Most conventional gloves are much thicker at the fi ngertips and much thinner at the cuff than at the palm. This often results in cuffs failing immediately upon donning or even when fi rst pulling from a dispenser. It can also inhibit fi ngertip tactile sensitivity and overall dexterity.

MilTek thickness control means greater dexterity and tactile sensitivity in the fi ngertips, effective protection at the palm and a cuff that is always thick enough to be tear-resistant.

TracTek Technology

Keep a safe grip on wet glassware and columns in the lab.
Patent-pending technology TracTek is the latest innovation in patterned nitrile grip, designed to greatly increase grip on wet and oily surfaces. The pattern employs a uniquely effeient raised diamond micro-pyramid grip design that channels liquids away from key areas of the hand where traction is most present, and offers 200% more tactile grip on wet and oily surfaces relative to similar products:

  • Maximum points of contact optimizes grip performance
  • Rigid design ensures grip does not weaken with time and wear
  • Pyramid pattern keeps multi-directional fl ow channels open between points of contact to effciently expel liquid without sacrifi cing grip.

Tractek’s features create an unprecedented grip ability in a nitrile glove as tested under ASTM F2961. This design affords maximum grip in all conditions without sacrifi cing durability or sensitivity.

1. West DP, Zhu YF. Evaluation of aloe vera gel gloves in the treatment of dry skin associated with occupational exposure. Am J Infect Control 2003;31:40-2.
2. Mirza R, Maani N. A randomized, controlled, double-blind study of the effect of wearing coated pH 5.5 latex gloves compared with standard powder-free latex gloves on skin pH, transepidermal water loss and skin irritation. Department of Dermatology, Clinical Trials, Stanford University, Contact Dermatitis. 2006 55(1):20-5.

Case Study: Extended Glove Use-AloeTuff

A world leader in the manufacture of advanced pharmaceutical chemical ingredients produces some of the most volatile chemicals currently in use in facilities around the world. Part of their attention to detail includes stringent PPE regulations and requirements that apply to every employee from lab scientists to equipment maintenance and painting crews.

Damaged Skin on Hand

Certain members of these crews, who spend extended periods of work time wearing single use gloves, were experiencing significant skin problems which they believed were caused by the harsh environment within a nitrile glove. Chief complaints included extensive peeling on the entire hand, similar to that caused by severe sunburn, and painful, dry and cracked skin that resulted in a breakdown of the skin’s barrier function against foreign substances.

The Industrial Hygienist tasked with these employees’ health championed various efforts to improve outcomes including switching to different glove models and experimenting with the application of various therapeutic lotions and treatments both before and after glove use. All efforts prior to working with SW Safety had resulted in only insignificant changes.

SW Safety arranged an extended trial of AloeTuff gloves for affected workers, anticipating that the combination of sweat-management and Aloe infusion provided by AloeTuff would be successful in resolving most of the hand skin health problems being exhibited.

Early in the trial, with individual workers less than 25 pairs into the test, the peeling and dryness had resolved in all cases without any compromise in performance. The switch to AloeTuff gloves resulted in dramatically improved skin health and worker comfort provided by the DriTek® and ACTIValoe®technologies while the high dexterity and ANSI Level III Abrasion resistance contributed to improved performance in the most challenging of environments.

Hand Health

Manage What’s on the InsideNew hand health technologies and therapeutic advancements are changing the landscape of the single use (SU) glove. Going beyond serving as a barrier from the elements, SU gloves now actually protect your skin and manage the things that can cause irritation, dryness and chapping in an occlusive environment.When you don an SU glove, your hand is enveloped in a barrier material that safely protects your hand from a variety of liquid, chemical and light mechanical risks. However, this same barrier can also create a harsh, occlusive environment around your hand that presents an entirely new set of risks for hand protection.SW Safety Solutions Inc: Hand HealthWhen wearing an SU glove, your hand is contained in an enclosed environment with restricted airflow. Temperature begins to rise, which causes sweating and increased moisture, and pH levels to increase.The longer the glove remains on your hand, the more damaging this occlusive environment becomes and increasing the likelihood of skin dryness, redness and irritation.

Your skin’s pH is slightly acidic, ranging from 4.0-6.5 in a normal environment. Inside an SU glove, your hand loses moisture (sweats) and pH levels quickly rise, further effecting the skin surface and underlying layers. The skin’s ability to regulate its surface diminishes and the resulting alkaline environment can actually accelerate bacterial growth.

Imagine wearing a SU glove in the workplace for hours at a time over a period of days, months and even years. Add in the fact that your hands are “working hard” inside the glove while you grip, move, rub, etc., to complete your work tasks. This leads to friction and mechanical abrasion of the skin further exasperating an already difficult hand environment.

The need for “inside the glove” protection is clear and new technological advances by SW makes it easier and safer than ever before to offer protection “inside and out.” Your hands are not only shielded from external elements, but now the environment on the inside is managed, as well, to provide optimum skin health.

Health Care Trends in the USA

In the USA health care costs continue to rise year on year. Currently, estimates indicate that over 2.7 trillion dollars are spent annually on health care.  Although health care spending continues to increase year after year, during 2013 the growth rate was at an all-time low. In 2013 although the rate of growth was thought to have declined to 3.6%, in 2015 it is expected to increase to over 6%. The effect of this trend is already being seen in the health care industry.

ebola glovesPreviously, Americans who had to pay out of pocket for procedures were electing to have fewer procedures done, but with the affordable care act’s mandate for country wide health insurance, more and more people are electing to have more procedures done. Furthermore the affordable care act has caused health care costs to increase at a slower rate. Essentially, there has been more spending but less costs for hospitals. This has been great news for the health care Industry and also good news for many citizens who are able to get the treatment they need but previously couldn’t afford it.

As health care spending growth continues to outpace the rest of the US economy, there is no better time than now to capitalize on this trend. With the increased demand for elected procedures in the USA, there also will be an increase in demand by hospitals for materials needed for these procedures (such as gloves). In Q2 of 2014 alone, revenue increased by over 8 billion dollars, more than the previous four quarters combined.


As such, hospitals have more revenue to purchase superior made gloves and now are moving away from purchasing low-quality cheap options as during the recessionary period. As the recent Ebola outbreak highlighted, cutting corners with cheap inferior products is not an option and has come under intense public scrutiny. Today, many nurses and doctors insist on triple gloving when dealing with possible Ebola infected patients to maintain security. It is important for any supplier to have options that can protect from blood penetration, bacteria as well as liquid and gases.  When purchasing gloves make sure they have the proper ASTM level clearance to be assured of their quality and ability to protect users from any threat. When it comes to health, cutting corners is not an option.