The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Allergy to Potting Compost


The contents of bags of commercial potting compost especially the multi purpose sort, brings me out in itching and occasionally blisters. this has been happening for many years now, so I deal with it by wearing two pairs of gloves, one them rubber to stop the fibres getting through to my skin.

I have recently come across several other people who have had similar problems. At its very worse I was covered in blisters on my hands and arms and my hand was so swollen that I could not even form a fist. So please take care with these products and make sure you cover up when using them, none of this ‘gung ho’ bare hands stuff!

More blog posts by debidums

Next post: Juster Berries



Welcome to GoY debidums.
Thanks for the warning, there seem to be more and more allergies about these days. As I cannot bear dirt or anything else down my finger nails I always wear gloves for all gardening so this won't have bothered me. I know 'real' gardeners are supposed to enjoy having dirty hands but this is just another reason to stick with the gloves! :o)

24 Sep, 2009


Thank you for alerting everyone.
Have you been able to establish exactly what it is in the compost which is damaging your skin?

24 Sep, 2009


Maybe you could find a product that doesn't affect you like that. Personally i can't use gloves because I can't feel what I'm doing if I have them on, - but we're all different.

24 Sep, 2009


Hello Debidums an allergic reaction is when the body releases histimines usually after the second exposure to the substance. Which is why we take antihistamines to reduce the effects. An allergic reaction such as this usually gets worse each time you come into contact with the substance. I suggest you research allergic reactions further to understand the process more and stop using the products that cause this because this adverse reaction is not good for you.

24 Sep, 2009


I also seem to have acquired the potting compost allergy this year. My hands are so small that I struggle to wear gloves, but try to manage with children's size. I will try to find out if there is an allergy free one.

21 Mar, 2019

Add a comment

Featured on

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 May, 2009

Garden centre