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Local doctor explains right way to wear disposable gloves to avoid cross-contamination

Posted at 5:17 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 07:24:12-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Many people are choosing to wear disposable gloves when out shopping or running other errands right now. But, doctors say there's a right and wrong way to wear them.

ABC Action News asked Dr. Maria Hicks, a dermatologist with ForCare Medical Center, to explain the best way to wear gloves and stay safe.

More than anything, she says washing hands often and using hand sanitizer will be two of the most effective ways to keep your hands clean and stop the spread of germs. Simply wearing gloves will not ensure you can stay germ-free, Hicks said.

Hicks says many of the gloves people are choosing to wear are disposable latex or nitrile gloves that you will often see worn by healthcare workers.

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Before putting on gloves, she says to start with clean hands by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer. Then put your gloves on.

When wearing gloves in places like a grocery store, Hicks says to make sure not to touch your face, body, your cell phone, or things like the inside of your purse or wallet while shopping.

"We do not want to scratch," she said. "We don't want to touch anything because the gloves are dirty."

Hicks is also warning not to wear the same gloves from place to place because it can cause areas like your car or other high-touch surfaces to be cross-contaminated.

In addition, she said it's critical that you follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines on safely removing your disposable gloves to make sure you stay safe.

How to Remove Disposable Gloves per CDC Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control has these seven steps on how to safely remove disposable gloves.

Dr. Hicks says to make sure that those dirty gloves end up in the trash can and also to sanitize your hands immediately afterward.