Think about how you can put some distance between you and the chemicals – use a mop with a handle, rather than a cloth for cleaning floors and surfaces; substitute irritant chemicals for milder alternatives where available; avoid concentrates and instead use dosing systems such as single-use sachets.
Strong reusable rubber gloves should be fine, unless the label on any of your cleaning products says otherwise.
Use flock-lined gloves or gloves with separate cotton liner which can help to absorb some of the sweat from your hands. Take regular glove breaks – air your hands for a minute before they get hot and sticky inside your gloves. Be careful how you take off your gloves. Wash them or wipe the outsides first and then take them off, not letting your ungloved hand touch the contaminated glove.
No. There are no true ‘barrier’ creams; chemicals will always work their way through to the skin. However, moisturising creams used regularly will help keep skin hydrated and supple, preventing dermatitis.
Skin dryness and cracking are early signs of dermatitis and shouldn’t be ignored – you should check with your GP or if available, your occupational health service if you notice these signs. The things you do in your job mean that you have an increased chance of suffering from dermatitis, but preventing it is easy.