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Finger Cots / Latex Finger Gloves

Finger cots are single-finger gloves that offer protection for individual fingers and fingertips. Often used as a more cost-effective, more comfortable alternative to disposable gloves, finger gloves are also used as a way of protecting finger wounds during swimming or showering. Read more...

Latex Finger Cots

Due to the superior comfort and flexibility of natural rubber, most disposable finger cots are made with latex. We will therefore primarily discuss rubber finger protectors in comparison to disposable latex gloves. Keep in mind that latex can cause irritation in people with latex allergies and frequent use may lead to the development of a latex allergy (Binkley, Schroyer, & Catalfano, 2003).

Finger Cots vs. Gloves: Benefits of Latex Finger Gloves

There are multiple reasons why someone might choose to use latex finger covers instead of simply using full gloves.

Cost

Depending on your specific needs, finger cots are generally cheaper than a full glove, with standard pricing for finger gloves running at $0.02 - $0.04, whereas standard latex gloves cost a minimum of $0.05 - $0.08 per glove. While this may be a very minor difference on a glove-to-glove basis, for people who use gloves regularly, the cost adds up.

Comfort

Because finger gloves only cover the fingers that need it, the rest of your hand can breathe comfortably. In fact, even if all your fingers need to be covered, at least your palm can remain uncovered. With finger protectors, you can say goodbye to sweaty hands and hello to the most effortless, pleasant way to stay clean.

Waste Reduction

Less glove surface also means less waste. And less waste, of course, means less impact on the environment around us. For this reason, individuals who do not need the full protection of a standard glove may choose the more environmentally-friendly option of rubber finger protectors.

Convenience

Small enough to store anywear, quick to put on, easy to dispose of and a cinch to replace, finger gloves are truly the winners when it comes to hand gloving convenience.

What Are Finger Covers Used For?

Finger gloves serve a wide variety of functions and are utilized by many different types of people. In general, the many types of uses can all be categorized under these goals:

  1. Protecting fingers from dirt, glue, cuts or infection
  2. Preventing cross contamination in patients
  3. Improving grip for better accuracy and efficiency
  4. Keeping medication or bandages in place

Medical Uses for Latex Finger Cots

The following are some of the most important and most common medical uses for rubber finger covers.

  • Wound Protection. Whether you are concerned about exposing your finger wound to oxygen, dirt, moisture, bodily fluids, or chemicals, a finger glove is an unobtrusive way to cover it up. Finger covers are useful for individuals with: (1) Cuts, (2) Burns, (3) Blisters, & other wounds. While ordinary people can certainly benefit from the wound protection provided by rubber finger covers, this sheath can be especially important for caregivers who prefer not to use gloves every time they care for their patient but don’t want to expose open wounds to contamination.
  • Medical Procedures. For certain medical procedures, healthcare workers may choose to use latex finger cots. For example, during a digital rectal examination, a finger exam done by healthcare providers to screen for cancer and other issues, a single lubricated finger cot may be sufficient protection. Other uses in medicine include application of topical medications or bandage protection (see below).
  • Bandage Protection. If you’re concerned about your band-aid or gauze pad moving out of place because your injury is on the edge of your finger or you will be coming in contact with water, these protectors can be very useful. Waterproof finger covers are ideal to use as a secondary protection (over a bandage) during swimming and showering. Doing so will maintain a healthy environment for wound healing.
  • Ointment Application. Latex finger gloves can be very helpful for caregivers who need to apply topical creams or ointments to sensitive parts of the body. Regardless, many people prefer to use these mini gloves to make applying ointment a cleaner and more pleasant task.
  • First Aid Protection. First aid providers are encouraged to wear finger gloves whenever contact with bodily fluids is likely.
  • Suppository Insertion. When inserting suppositories, rubber finger protectors are a great way to stay clean and sanitary. 

More Finger Cover Uses

Other, non-medical uses for finger cots include:

  • Art Work. Many artists appreciate the flexibility and thinness (as well as the improved tactile sensitivity that it provides) of finger gloves while working with paint, chalk, pastels or art charcoal. In addition, these glove-like covers are very useful because they are disposable, making it simple and inexpensive to cleanly switch between colors.
  • Crafting. Finger cots are useful for crafts, protecting fingers from injury and mess. Whether you’re folding papers, using glue (particularly superglue), wax and other messy or harsh substances, disposable finger gloves are a great way to conveniently protect yourself.
  • Beauty Care. Used in spas during hair and wax treatments, in nail salons and more, finger gloves are a great way to promote hygiene and prevent mess without wearing sweaty gloves for prolonged periods of time. 
  • Industrial Work. Whether you are working with unsafe materials, need better grip or want to avoid getting dirty, disposable latex finger tips are ideal for long-term protection that affords high tactile-sensitivity and comfort.
  • Fingerprint Prevention. When completing detail-focused tasks such as working in a lab with small glass slides or handling sensitive items such as CDs or film, a finger cover or two may be all that’s needed to prevent fingerprints and scratches.
  • Electronic Work. Manufacturing employees or electronic repair workers handling sensitive parts such as semiconductor materials often use latex finger protectors or standard gloves to prevent exposing these products to grease and oil, which can cause significant damage.
  • Jewelry & Watch Care. When working with small items, such as is done during jewelry cleaning, watch repair, and jewelry creation, two finger gloves can help protect fingers and jewelry from dirt.
  • Food Service. Some people use blue finger cots in food preparation. However, in 2017, FDA introduced a new food code that stated that disposable food prep gloves should be worn over finger cots, if used, to prevent them from falling into and contaminating the food.
  • Pet Care. In professional dog grooming, finger gloves are used in hand stripping to improve grip on pet hair.
  • Preventing Cuts. Filing papers and counting money can easily lead to paper cuts - unless you’re wearing finger protectors.
  • Improved Grip. From needle quilting to flipping through papers, improved grip can significantly improve one’s efficiency.

 

Reference

Binkley, H. M., Schroyer, T., & Catalfano, J. (2003, April). Latex allergies: A review of recognition, evaluation, management, prevention, education, and alternative product use. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164902/