Many people are concerned when giving or purchasing flowers for someone that their thoughtful present could cause an allergic reaction. Orchids have a big advantage over lots of other flower species in that their pollen isn’t typically the kind to trigger a person’s allergies. This makes the Phalaenopsis a great option for housewarming and corporate gifts.
What an Orchid Allergy Looks Like
Unfortunately, a percentage of the population might be sensitive to orchid sap. If you notice a rash on your hand after handling an orchid, you may be susceptible to contact dermatitis, the medical name for a skin reaction to an allergen.
Contact dermatitis is characterized by various symptoms, including redness, soreness and itchiness in the affected area – but the good news is that this rash isn’t harmful, isn’t contagious, and typically resolves itself within days.
When a Skin Allergy Strikes
Visit your doctor while the rash is still fresh. Your physician will want to rule out other conditions that may be causing the reaction, and will advise you on the best treatment, whether that’s just a cold compress or an antihistamine that comes in topical or oral treatments.
Determine if the orchids are the culprit. Contact dermatitis can be triggered by soaps, perfumes, other plants and even jewelry. If you have come into contact with possible allergen triggers, you may need to consult with your doctor to see which one is giving you the reaction.
Don’t Give Up on Your Orchids
You don’t have to give away your Phalaenopsis if you are prone to skin reactions. You can protect your skin by wearing disposable gloves when you water, prune or otherwise handle your plants. Should you inadvertently come into contact with sap, wash your hands immediately.
Check out other articles on our Orchid Care Blog for more helpful tips and advice.