If you visit an essential business nowadays, e.g. a grocery store, restaurant, or large warehouse store, you see a graveyard of used disposable gloves and surgical masks. People litter because they don’t want to bring the gloves or masks inside their cars. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only advises people to use gloves while disinfecting high-touch surfaces, a lot of people wear gloves everywhere.
Disposable gloves are on backorder for most websites, or they are out of stock at stores. This has caused people to reuse disposable gloves, washing them between grocery runs and other essential errands. Some people are doing this for eco-friendly reasons, in an attempt to create less environmental waste. Others are simply running low on gloves and don’t want to buy more because funds are tight. Whatever the reason for doing this, health experts advise against this practice.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wear Gloves At All
Let us be clear that health officials advise people to wear gloves if caring for a sick individual or cleaning a high-touch area. The reason that people shouldn’t wear gloves outside is that it gives them a false sense of security. The gloves protect them and they don’t need to wash their hands. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that regularly washing hands with soap is a better protective measure than wearing rubber gloves.
Washing Disposable Gloves Is Not Good
According to Dr. Charles W. Page, a Texas-based general surgeon, he does not recommend ever reusing or washing disposable gloves. Disposable gloves are designed for single use, especially if serving food or using them in a medical setting. Washing them after coming in contact with contaminated surfaces can pose several risks, the primary one being that their integrity can be compromised. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cautioned against wearing lotion under disposable gloves because that can break down the latex material. Finally, washing disposable gloves and then removing them for future use can accidentally transfer bacteria to the insides of your hands.
Just Keep Your Hands Clean
Nearly every surgeon and health official says that washing your hands with soap and water is the best method of sanitation. Disposable gloves are much more difficult to decontaminate. They can also tear and allow bacteria to contact the skin. It is very easy to maintain hand hygiene, so there is no reason for you to wear gloves.
In closing, it is important to remember that coronavirus spreads by entering mucus membranes or open wounds. The virus is not absorbed through unbroken skin, and the skin on your hands is tough, unlike the skin around your eyes, nose, and mouth.