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August 20, 2004

Hand Eczema Among Massage Therapists

There's a higher incidence of atopic dermatitis among massage therapists according to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

Hand dermatitis (also known as hand eczema) is a skin disorder that causes the hands to develop a rash and become dry and cracked.

Many massage therapists are exposed to multiple factors known to increase the risk of hand dermatitis, including frequent hand washing, contact with fragrances, dyes, detergents, latex and other irritants and allergens found in massage oils, creams and lotions.

"Massage therapists should be aware of the sensitizing potential of their oils and the possibility of personal and client adverse skin reactions.

Personally, I use an unscented almond oil blend in my practice. I have had only one instance of dermatitis associated with the use of this oil by a client with an already high sensitivity to many lotions and creams. Occasionally, I have dryness and cracking on the backs of my hands and wrists during the winter months. I attribute this to repeated hand washing with anti-bacterial soap. I have switched to a milder soap because of conflicting evidence of the efficacy of anti-bacterial soap.

Posted by linda at August 20, 2004 11:52 AM

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