Vinyl (PVC) is one of the synthetic materials used in the manufacturing of exam gloves. However, research has shown that vinyl gloves are not as strong as latex gloves and they can be punctured more easily. They fit loosely to the hands due to their limited ability to stretch, and they are not as good as latex gloves in barrier protection.
Latex gloves, with their excellent durability, fit better and more comfortably on the hands and stretch with more elasticity. They are stronger and provide superior barrier protection. Overall, latex gloves outperform vinyl gloves in both function and protection.
However individuals, who are allergic to latex protein (Immediate Type I), should avoid in contact with all latex products, and wear only non-latex synthetic gloves. There are also other alternatives of non-latex gloves besides vinyl gloves.
However, switching to vinyl gloves does not eliminate the risk of irritant contact dermatitis or chemical hypersensitivity (Type IV) reaction, because these are caused by the residual chemicals used in the manufacturing of both vinyl and latex gloves, rather than latex protein.