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FAQs - cleaning

How can I avoid contact with cleaning chemicals?

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.

What gloves should I use?

Strong reusable rubber gloves should be fine, unless the label on any of your cleaning products says otherwise.

If I wear gloves all day, how can I stop my hands getting too hot and sticky?

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.

Can't I just use a barrier cream?

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.

I know my skin gets a bit cracked and dry, but that can happen to anyone – why should I worry about 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.

Updated 2014-08-08