Don’t fret if your gloves make you uncomfortable, limit your finger movements, or cause tingles and numbness. Oftentimes, it doesn’t indicate a serious neuropathy symptom and is more about the glove size, thickness, or material. The tingling sensations will alleviate when you switch to the right gloves.
However, if the sensation affects your day-to-day life (shaking hands or difficulty in driving and holding objects), it might be severe symptoms, such as hand-arm vibration syndrome. In that case, you need to visit a doctor to get diagnosed.
Read on to find out “Why do my hands tingle when I wear gloves” and measures you can take to stop the weird sensations.
Table of Contents
- Why Do My Hands Tingle When I Wear Gloves?
- What Should I Do to Stop the Tingling?
Why Do My Hands Tingle When I Wear Gloves?
1. Poorly-fitted gloves
Tight gloves put pressure on the hand and increase perspiration. Loose gloves reduce your grip and tire your hands because they have to use more strength to compensate for the looseness. Both causes tiredness and limit blood flow, which is the number one cause of tingles and numbness in the fingers.
Unbreathable gloves also lead to skin irritations. When your hands sweat excessively under hot and stuffy gloves, they allow little to no ventilation and tingle your skin.
2. Cold temperatures
In extreme weather, your hands can become cold and numb if your gloves are not warm enough. Blood vessels in your fingers’ tips are far away from the heart, which is why your hands tingle even when your body doesn’t feel that cold.
You can feel this numbness in all fingers of both hands, and it goes away when you are in a warmer environment. This also happens to people who work in cold storage or offshore oil rigs.
3. Latex allergies
Around 1% of the people in the U.S. are allergic to latex. The symptoms include pain, stinging, burning, and reddened skin within minutes of applying latex gloves. Many people are not allergic at first but develop an allergy after being exposed to latex frequently.
Be aware that not only disposable gloves but heavy-duty gloves can be manufactured with latex. So, check the gloves you are given at work. Do they contain natural rubber?
4. Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)
HAVS develops when a worker operates pneumatic power tools and machines consistently without wearing proper PPE. Many workers still overlook the importance of PPE and choose not to wear gloves or wear them perfunctorily.
When left unattended for a long period, HAVS limits the oxygen levels your hands receive and impairs the blood vessels, causing tingles and numbness. When you take off the gloves after work, your fingers might look colorless, shake, and are sometimes uncontrollable. This symptom is more common among workers who operate power tools from 50 to 300 Hz.
5. Compression gloves
It is relieving to put on your compression gloves after a long day of constantly handling tasks. They help to reduce swelling and ease aching hand joints. But if you wear compression gloves that are too tight, the pain worsens. Tight compression gloves might also lead to shaking and tingling hands when you take them off and put on your work gloves. So, make sure you check that they are the right size.
Remove and stop using the gloves if you experience numbness, pins, needles, irritation, redness, or disturbed sleep. You should contact a hand therapist to get proper-sizing gloves if necessary.
What Should I Do to Stop the Tingling?
1. Select appropriate gloves
When selecting gloves, ask yourself the key question: What hazards am I exposed to at work (temperatures, chemicals, or power tools)?
When the temperature drops below 0° C, you need to wear insulated gloves when going outdoors. Workers in cold storage also need insulated gloves. You can wear glove liners underneath for added warmth. Remember that leaving your fingers tingling and numbing for an extended period can lead to more severe symptoms like peripheral neuropathy.
If you operate vibrating tools and machinery, wear vibration-dampening work gloves and switch to machines that transmit less vibration if possible. You should also alternate between tasks to give your hands breaks and let them recover. But if the conditions don’t improve, you need to visit a doctor.
2. Wear well-fitted gloves
Work gloves should fit snug around the fingers and allow dexterity despite their thickness. Your hands should fill the gloves with no extra rooms or materials. You must be able to extend your fingers and wrench a fist comfortably. The gloves should allow you to pick up small objects easily as well.
Disposable gloves also come in various sizes. When it comes to work gloves, there is no one-size-fits-all. So, try sizing up your gloves to reduce the stinging sensations.
3. Avoid latex gloves
There is no cure for latex allergy. All you can do is to avoid them altogether. Opt for substitutes, such as nitrile, neoprene, or vinyl gloves.
4. Adjust your compression gloves’ size
Check if you are using compression gloves correctly:
- Wear the seams of the gloves outside to alleviate the pressure.
- Wear the gloves for short periods to get used to them first.
- Do not wear compression gloves all day.
- Always wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before donning the gloves.
Consider sizing up your compression gloves if the stinging resists.
To sum up, there are five main reasons why you experience tingles when wearing gloves:
- You wear ill-fitted gloves.
- You work in cold temperatures with improper gloves.
- You have a latex allergy.
- You have HAVS due to the consistent use of vibrating tools and machines without wearing appropriate PPE.
- You wear compression gloves inappropriately.
It can feel like a shot in the dark to find gloves that can comfort your hands and maximize your safety. We hope this article helped you understand what you are going through and the measures you can take to ease the sensations.
Your colleagues can use our message for a safer and more comfortable workplace, so share this with them. You can always send us your questions via the contact page. We will reply promptly. Thank you for your time!
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.