Background: Glove-related hand urticaria is probably underdiagnosed and is an important differential diagnosis in suspected cases of contact allergy.
Case presentation: A nurse in her twenties presented with recurrent immediate-onset erythematous eruption with burning sensation on the dorsal hands after wearing disposable gloves. This occurred irrespective of the type of disposable gloves used. Patch testing, serological analysis for latex IgE and prick tests with latex and different glove materials all gave negative results. Dermographism was demonstrated on her back, and symptoms were reproduced after wearing disposable gloves. Symptoms were less severe when a looser-fitting glove was worn. She was treated with antihistamines and intensified barrier cream, and was recommended to wear loose-fitting gloves at work. She experienced no effect from antihistamines but some improvement from barrier protection.
Interpretation: Glove-related hand urticaria should be suspected in healthcare workers with immediate-onset urticarial reaction to multiple glove types, negative allergy tests and the presence of dermographism. Symptoms may be reproduced when wearing a tight-fitting glove.