Skin diseases

Avoid areas affected by herpes simplex (cold sores) or boils. Weeping eczema can be infected so should be avoided, as should any inflamed area of eczema or psoriasis. Where psoriasis or eczema is not sore, light massage is beneficial as it aids the removal of dead skin cells – the flaking skin may look unsightly but is not harmful to the therapist.

Sycosis barbae viral infections such as herpes zoster (shingles).

People under the influence of recreational drugs or alcohol

This can inhibit or distort response to treatment and may result in the person

A cold sore (herpes simplex)


Undiagnosed problem areas

In the case of undiagnosed lumps, bumps, areas of pain, localised swelling or inflammation, avoid massage over the area and refer the person to their medical practitioner for a diagnosis if the cause is unknown.

Cuts, bruises, abrasions, sunburn

The area will be sore to touch and pressure from massage may cause further pain and damage.

Scar tissue following recent injury or operation

Do not massage until the tissue has fully healed and can withstand pressure. After that, massage is very beneficial in breaking down adhesions. Some guidelines suggest that scar tissue following a major operation should be avoided for around two years and that small scars should be avoided for six months. Massage can prevent the formation of scar tissue and in many cases can be done sooner, depending on the speed of the healing process.

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