By Kortney Kwong Hing (see bio below)
Is your eczema holding you back from getting a massage?
I get it, when I have flares I like to keep them concealed and the last thing I would want is to have someone touching my skin on and around them. I also used to be embarrassed by the way my skin looked and definitely didn’t want anyone, let alone a masseur, get grossed out by my bumpy or peeling skin.
Today, I want to share how an eczema massage can benefit both your body and mind.
When it comes to getting a massage, I don’t think my eczema should hold me back. I remind myself masseurs are professionals, they have probably seen it all, and eczema is not contagious. Plus, the benefits of getting a massage are well worth the few minutes I need to take at the start of the treatment to talk about my needs.
Why Is An Eczema Massage Beneficial?
Beyond total relaxation and reduction of muscle pain and tension, an eczema massage can do a lot of good for both the body and mind. I see three main benefits to massage eczema prone skin:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Many people get stress-induced eczema flares so what better way to deescalate any incoming stress than by treating yourself to an eczema massage. Not only is a massage going to give you the physical side of relaxation, you are giving yourself a set amount of time to do nothing but be there (how often do we get that nowadays?).
For most massage styles you will be lathered in oil, which soaks in as your treatment is being performed. This allows your skin time to breath and moisturize. There is actually no eczema massage contraindication, as the skin is nourished with essential oils that can reduce itching, irritation and redness. If you’re worried about the oil causing your skin to flare, just ask to see the product they use and verify the ingredients are safe to use.
Feeling of Comfort
Having eczema can be very uncomfortable. From feeling itchy to being hot, it is not always easy to feel a sense of ease in your skin. The post-massage glow offers you time to bask in the comfort of soft skin and a relaxed mind.
Tips on Eczema and Massages
All of that sounds grand and all, but now how do you go about ensuring you will feel relaxed and at ease when combining eczema and massage? Here are a few tips on how to manage your eczema when going for a massage:
Before Your Massage
- Don’t get surprised by perfumes and scented oils. Instead, bring your own oil or cream (that you’ve patch tested). I like to use pure organic coconut oil. This organic calendula oil makes a great nourishing and soothing massage oil as well.
- Be open about your skin. Explain to the masseur that you have eczema and show them your hot spots. You can also specify whether they should avoid those areas or if you are ok for them to be touched – most of the time they will be very open about this – do not be embarrassed, remember they are professionals.
During Your Massage
- Keep your body at a comfortable temperature during treatment. Some spas have heated blankets, which are lovely, but they can also make you overheat and chances are you may get sweaty. If this something that triggers a flare ask to be covered in light blankets or towels instead.
After Your Massage
- Stay hydrated. When you massage eczema, you cleanse yourself of toxins, so be sure to drink lots of water after.
- Let the oils do their moisturizing magic. Personally, I don’t shower after a massage because I like the oils to soak into my skin. I will also make sure to change into soft comfortable clothes made with zinc to soothe eczema like this Remedywear™ Shirt for Adults or these Remedywear™ Long Pants for Adults.
Massages for eczema are not supposed to be stressful, so I hope that this post leaves you feeling more at ease when thinking about heading to the spa.
If you aren’t ready to strip down and get covered in oil, there are some other options to get you started like Reflexology and Shiatsu massages, where you keep your clothes on. Or start small with a head or foot massage. However you do it, make sure to give yourself permission to enjoy the time you have set aside for self-care.
Bio: Kortney Kwong Hing is the allergy girl behind the blog Allergy Girl Eats. She has multiple food allergies(peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, soy, sunflower seeds, and more), but does not let them stand in the way of enjoying food and exploring the globe. On the blog Kortney shares stories of life as an allergic adult, tips on managing everyday life with food allergies, asthma and eczema, plus a few of her favourite allergy-friendly recipes.
Kortney is also one of the co-founders of Allergy Travels, a website and online community that shares travel insights and inspiration for those managing allergies.