The major role of exam gloves is to provide barrier protection against infectious agents and bodily fluids. Besides latex gloves, several additional exam glove types are available, including PVC gloves, nitrile gloves, and polyurethane gloves.
Latex Gloves, remain the first choice of many healthcare workers: the gold standard of functionality, comfort, tactile sensitivity, and low cost. However, the increase in latex allergies has caused many healthcare workers to try the the non-latex glove solutions.
Vinyl Gloves remains the most widely used non-latex glove. Vinyl provides adequate barrier protection, especially for short-term procedures or general patient care.
Nitrile Gloves costs more than Vinyl Gloves, but it delivers more. Its barrier properties, fit, and function have been shown to be similar to latex. However, unlike Vinyl Gloves, the nitrile Gloves tends to stretch and relax with hand movement, which translates to a soft, comfortable, flexible fit even during extended wear and hand manipulation.