Medical gloves are disposable gloves used during medical examinations and procedures to help prevent cross-contamination between caregivers and patients. Medical gloves are made of different polymers including latex, nitrile rubber, polyvinyl chloride and neoprene; they come unpowdered, or powdered with cornstarch to lubricate the gloves, making them easier to put on the hands.
Cornstarch replaced tissue-irritating Lycopodium powder and talc, but even cornstarch can impede healing if it gets into tissues (as during surgery). As such, unpowdered gloves are used more often during surgery and other sensitive procedures. Special manufacturing processes are used to compensate for the lack of powder. There are two main types of medical gloves: examination and surgical. Surgical gloves have more precise sizing with a better precision and sensitivity and are made to a higher standard. Examination gloves are available as either sterile or non-sterile, while surgical gloves are generally sterile.