Risk level

Cake glorious cake

Confectioners specialise in cakes, gateaux and desserts. Deft fingers and artistic flair are good attributes for making both beautiful and tasty delights. Some confectioners, however, can have too much of a good thing. Sticky cake mixture and frequent handwashing can cause hand eczema, and flour dust in the workplace can cause or exacerbate asthma.

What are the risks?

Confectioners work with their hands, and their creations are often sticky and doughy. It's important to wash your hands and equipment frequently. Frequently damp hands are at greater risk of hand eczema. If the eczema gets infected, you will not be allowed to work, as there is a risk that the bacteria from the infection will spread.

Dust from wheat flour, for example, can cause allergies. This can lead to a runny nose, irritated eyes, coughing or asthma.

Prevention and avoidance

Protect your hands with an unperfumed moisturising hand cream after work and during breaks. Gloves also offer protection but it can be hard to use them when working as a confectioner.

It's worth knowing that it will be hard to carry on working as a confectioner if you develop hand eczema or an allergy to flour dust.

If you already have asthma or hand eczema, working as a confectioner may cause either condition to come back or get worse.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about asthma and eczema when working as a confectioner, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.