Risk level

Say it with flowers!

Is the future looking rosy for you? Florists generally work in florist shops where they sell flowers and plants. With their natural flair for colour and form, they put together beautiful bouquets and other flower arrangements, but the job's not always a bed of roses. Florists often end up with wet hands, which can result in hand eczema. Flowers are beautiful, but can also have strong fragrances and cause allergies.

What are the risks?

As a florist you will often have wet hands, for example, when you change the water in vases, cut flowers and tie bouquets. This is something the skin is sensitive to, and it is easy to end up with hand eczema, where the skin becomes dry, red and flaky with cracks and blisters that itch.

Some everyday flowers can trigger allergic reactions, such as ox-eye daisies, marigolds, cornflowers and chrysanthemums. Some plants also have strong fragrances that can make it hard to breathe if you're sensitive to them.

Prevention and avoidance

Working as a florist entails several risks, but there are ways of protecting yourself: use plastic gloves when you change the water in the vases, and use hand cream at the end of your working day to protect your hands.

It's worth knowing that it will be hard to carry on working as a florist if you have or develop hand eczema, and that you may be forced to choose a completely different career.

If you already have or have previously had hand eczema, the work can very easily cause it to come back or get worse.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about allergy and eczema when working as a pool/leisure centre attendant, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.