What Advice to Give To Allergic Apprentices?

The choice of a job is a decisive moment. Many young people with allergies engage in university or apprenticeship programs without sometimes having measured the impact of their allergy on their future profession.

If an allergy occurs, or if the symptoms worsen during the apprenticeship or at the beginning of the activity, it can put your professional career at risk (absenteeism, fatigue, feeling of failure or even loss of employment and obligation of reclassification ).

But an allergy does not immediately exclude a choice of learning, nor a project for the future.


  • Get diagnosed as soon as possible, as soon as the first signs of allergy appear and follow your treatment for the duration. Why? To prevent your disease from evolving and keep the maximum of open doors!
  • Learn about risky trades and get yourself diagnosed as a precaution before you start training, especially if there are people with allergies in your family.
  • Talk about your professional choices to your doctor or your allergist or to the guidance counselor. They will be good advice and will help you to orient yourself, if necessary.
  • Implement measures to eliminate allergens causing symptoms in your workplace (latex-free vinyl gloves, mask, frequent ventilation of premises …).

Eviction of the allergen is the most effective measure to avoid an allergic reaction. This is to avoid contact with the allergen. This is possible with some allergens including food allergens, but it is impossible to avoid contact with volatile allergens (pollens, for example). In this case, the eviction consists in limiting as much as possible the contact with these allergens.


  • Hairdressing trades  /  Allergens and aggravating factors: dyes, nickel, chromium …
  • Food trades  (including bakery) /  Allergens and aggravating factors: flour, eggs, cooking smoke …
  • Wood and building trades  /  Allergens and aggravating factors: some glues or paints (including Volatile Organic Compounds), wood dust, cement chrome …
  • Health care  /  Allergens and aggravating factors: latex, certain drugs, disinfectants …
  • Agriculture  /  Allergens and aggravating factors: mold, pollen, pesticides …
  • Trade in contact with animals  (laboratory assistants, veterinary surgeons …) /  Allergens and aggravating factors: animal dander, latex, certain drugs, disinfectants …

10 %

10% of asthma in adults are of occupational origin[1]

[1] What advice to give to allergic apprentices? – D. Olgiati-Des Gouttes and M.-A. Boillat – September 2010