Disposable gloves have been appearing more often than ever since the latest COVID-19 outbreak. Due to gloves offering a thin layer of protection for the skin, many people get a false sense of security while wearing latex gloves. The assumption that simply wearing gloves can stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases isn’t correct at all. Gloves are, in fact, unhygienic.

In a leaflet about proper glove use, the WHO writes, “It (glove use) may also result in missed opportunities for hand hygiene. The use of contaminated gloves caused by inappropriate storage, inappropriate moments and techniques for donning and removing, may also result in germ transmission”. The leaflet also says, “Key learning point: gloves do not provide complete protection against hand contamination.”

While wearing gloves, people may still touch their faces where there are sensitive openings to the body such as the eyes, nose, and mouth – resulting in greater risk of infection. Due to infrequent changes of gloves, gloves may actually be more contaminated than bare hands. When people use their bare hands, they are more mindful of handwashing, resulting in proper hand hygiene and less transmission of germs.

Gloves are also not to be washed, according to the CDC, “Patient care gloves should never be washed and used again. Washing gloves does not necessarily make them safe for reuse; it may not be possible to eliminate all microorganisms and washing can make the gloves more prone to tearing or leaking.”

Simple soap and water remain the best answer to battling the spread of dangerous germs and viruses such as the COVID-19. For more important updates on hygiene and COVID-19, sign up for our newsletter! You can fill in your email at the bottom of the page.

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