Perfectly healthy hands rarely need protection from daily chores. However with a Nickel Allergy you may have compromised skin – rashes, flaky, itching skin, etc. Obviously you want to get this under control but you can improve your comfort level by using gloves at any stage of a Nickel Allergy – whether it’s mostly under control or not. Anyway, I’m allergic to more than just Nickel – wool, latex, etc – so using gloves in a number of situations makes sense.
You will likely need to experiment to find the right gloves for you. I have found that two types of gloves cover my needs – I have lightweight gloves and more durable gloves for more complex chores.
Lightweight protective gloves
I have found that thin foodservice gloves are perfect for quick and simple chores like loading the dishwasher, putting a load of laundry on, taking the trash out, etc. They aren’t much good for washing up in the sink, gardening, car maintenance or more demanding jobs. They can be a little slippery and don’t stand up to a lot of abuse but they are cheap and helpful for all these little jobs – keeping dirt and liquids off your sensitive skin and avoiding Nickel contact at the same time.
Heavier duty disposable gloves
For jobs which require more grip or dexterity – or jobs which are going to take some time I use Nitrile gloves. These are still disposable but are a little more expensive than foodservice gloves. However they fit more tightly over your hand giving you better grip inside and outside the glove (ie they stay on your hands better and give you more grip when handling objects and tools). I specifically avoided latex based gloves because I know that I’m also allergic to latex and I found that the powdered gloves bother me so I buy non-powdered versions.
You will have to experiment to find out which ones work best for you – I recommend starting with a small quantity of a number of different types of glove before you settle on what works best for you. Then go ahead and buy in quantity.
Making sure your gloves are available
My recommendation is keep a stash wherever you need them on a regular basis – then you won’t find yourself avoiding using them because it’s too much effort to go fetch them. For example, I have a set of both lightweight and the heavier duty gloves in both the garage and the kitchen. This way they are always to hand for the most common jobs and easy enough to grab for other work around the house.