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  • Mary Carolla

Eczema and Massage

I have eczema, can I still get a massage?

Yes, you can. Good talk.

It’s a good question, so here’s a bit more detailed answer.

As humans covered in these weird skin suits, we get a lot of itches and rashes and bumps and such. Some of these situations require medical attention and covering up so we don’t expose others to something contagious. Other issues are harmless to others, but annoying to the person experiencing them.

Eczema is the latter, mostly harmless to others but not so fun for the person with the itching.

What is eczema?

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes itchiness, dry skin, rashes, scaly patches, blisters and potentially skin infections. There are several varieties of eczema, but the most common symptom is itchy skin and thick, dry, scaly patches. We don’t know the exact cause of eczema, but it’s thought to be a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental triggers.

Eczema can appear at any point in a person’s life, newborn to elderly, and it can be very mild or severe enough to negatively impact a person’s quality of life. It can be consistent and persistent or come and go with varying severity (flare ups). It’s most common in creases where skin rubs together like behind the knees or inside the elbows but can be found anywhere on the body.

If you suspect you have eczema it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from your primary care provider or a dermatologist. Treatments can range from over the counter creams for very mild cases to immunosuppressants for more severe presentations.

Every person’s experience of eczema is a little different and triggers can be anything from certain foods to laundry detergents to stress.

So what about massage?

If stress is a big trigger for your eczema, massage can absolutely be helpful. The application of a moisturizing oil can help keep the affected areas of skin softer and more pliable. (I use jojoba in massage sessions, and it can feel very soothing to those affected areas) If the itching has disrupted your sleep, massage can help your body feel calm and rested.

If you are seeking massage for issues unrelated to eczema, don’t let the eczema stop you! If you have any broken skin from scratching, it’s a good idea to cover the area to protect it or let me know so I can avoid it. Or if you just don’t want me touching a rashy area, I can absolutely skip working on that; just let me know.

As with any condition, not just eczema, we can tailor your massage treatment to accommodate your needs on any particular day. Massage sessions are always adapted to be safe for you.

Some additional information/resources:

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