The Effects of Silicone Caulking on the Hands

glazier image by Greg Pickens from

People use silicone caulk when sealing edges in homes, specifically in bathrooms around sinks, tubs and showers where water may pool regularly. As a malleable material, tools spread this material effectively.

Many people, however, find it easier to use their hands when applying silicone caulk to hard-to-reach corners between a wall and a tub, sink or shower. It's important to know the effects silicone caulk has on the skin of your hands, both internally and externally.

Toxic Effects

Silicone caulk can adversely affect your body if you swallow it or inhale it. Caulk also has toxic effects if you absorb it through your skin, according to the warning labels on the tubes this product. This means that if you use your hands to spread this silicone caulking material, the toxicity may absorb through the surface of your skin and into your body. If this occurs, physical reactions include irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory system. It can also cause general nervous system depression.

Tears Skin

Caulk is a form of adhesive or glue that firmly bonds to other materials. It most often bond to materials such as metal, porcelain, silicone or stone, so it naturally sticks to most surfaces. This includes human skin. When silicone caulk does get on the skin of the hands, wash it off or remove it as quickly as possible. Every second it remains on the skin, the caulk continues to dry and harden, bonding more firmly to the surface of the skin itself. When this occurs, you will have to tear or shave off the surface of the skin to remove it properly.

Dries Out Skin

Silicone caulk also has water-absorbent qualities as it dries, sucking out as much water as possible from whatever surface you apply it to. This helps the caulk efficiently bond better to surfaces. When silicone caulk comes in contact with skin on the hands, this absorption also occurs, removing the moisture that is natural in human hands. This drying leaves your skin cracked and brittle, removing the skin's natural moisture.