As a massage therapist, one should know the signs and what to look for in skin condition. Color, pallor, texture, temperature and elasticity. The skin will often tell us and reflect the client’s health. But sometimes, there are those clients that begin with a skin problem.
Skin issues can range and vary from very mild to quite severe. If the client has a known contagious skin condition, massage therapy is contraindicated, due to possible further spread of the infection and risking the health of the therapist. Spreading a skin condition could be as mild as acne, or as severe as a fungal infection or viral like herpes.
Many clients that a massage therapist will come in contact with, may be afflicted with acne. “Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting 40 million to 50 million Americans,” states the American Academy of Dermatology. Annie Morien, author of ‘How Massage Therapists Can Handle Skin Conditions, For Both Themselves and Their Clients: Massage and Skin Conditions’, describes that for most skin issues, including acne, massage is contraindicated. However, there are special considerations, and conditions should be treated on a case by case basis.
Because skin conditions vary, and every client is different, careful consideration should be given to each situation. If the condition is known to spread or is contagious, massage is a no go. However if it is a known safe condition, and not harmful to the therapist or client, then massage is recommended, and can possibly be given around the affected areas.
To keep everyone safe from continuing the spread of diseases and infections, please urge and encourage clients to contact their doctor before seeking massage treatment.