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10 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Powder Free Latex Gloves but Never Thought to Ask.

10 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Powder Free Latex Gloves but Never Thought to Ask.


Medical gloves first appeared in the medical industry in 1889, but only came into common use as AIDS became widespread in the 1980s. It’s strange to think how commonly they are used today, though it took nearly a century to get to that point.

Latex Gloves



Gloves are a necessary part of the medical profession, so Tony Scully First Aid Supplies decided to honour their simple but vital role with an article that explores their history, creation and uses.

The First Sterile Medical Gloves

William Stewart Halsted M.D was the first to use sterile medical gloves while he was working at Johns Hopkins University, in America. Germ theory had recently been introduced and Halsted was using carbolic acid to create a sterile environment and wash his and his nurse’s hands. The acid was damaging to the skin on one of his nurse’s hands, so Halsted looked to the Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company and asked if they could make a glove that could be sterilised in carbolic acid while being dextrous enough to perform clear tasks.

The First Disposable Sterile Medical Glove

Ansell, an Australian company were the first to create a disposable glove, allowing medical professionals to deal with the less glamorous sides of their jobs in a hygienic fashion, whether that be dentist’s fingers in mouths, to dealing with human excrement. Ansell actually based their production techniques for making medical gloves on how condoms were made.

Criminals Using Medical Gloves

Medical gloves used to be popular with criminals as they wore them to commit crimes. Their thin second skin like material and tight fit offer a high dexterity in order to perform tricky actions, but this is also their downfall as the thin latex can actually allow fingerprints to pass through them.

Double Gloving

Putting two sets of gloves on is known as double gloving. Wearing two layers of medical gloves will offer you significantly more protection against any perforation in comparison to using just one glove.

Don’t Use Oils

Oils will breakdown the glove and could cause perforation, only use water-based hand lotion and dentists should discourage their patients from wearing oil based lip balm.

Ensure Alcohol is Dry

If you are using an alcohol based hand gel allow it to become absolutely dry or the alcohol may breakdown the glove and cause a perforation.

Don’t Wear Rings or Jewellery Under Medical Gloves

Don’t wear rings or jewellery under your gloves, they will rub on the inside of the glove and likely pierce them. Rings and jewellery can also harbour bacteria and viruses. This is the same for artificial nails, they will likely break the gloves and could be unclean also.

Medical Gloves Have an Expiry Date

You may not have known that medical gloves actually have an expiry date. You should rotate your gloves so the oldest are used before the newest. They need to be kept in a cool, dark and dry place, well away from air conditioners and x-ray machines. Don’t remove them from the box they came in so they can be easily identified.

Never Wash Your Disposable Gloves

Medical gloves should only be used once, washing them will cause them to breakdown from the moisture. Instead wash your hands and then thoroughly dry them. Moisture and heat inside the gloves will harbour bacteria. It is best to have clean and dry hands to prevent any spread of bacteria.


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