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Posted by Deborah Sheppard, Sep 29 2011 9:12PM

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Advice about dermatitis


Can anyone offer me advice about dealing with dermititis please? I qualified last year and am only working as a massage therapist on a part time basis, while I try to build up a clientelle, so it doesn't occur too often but when it does flare up, as it has this week, it's itchy, sore and generally uncomfortable. I get it on the backs of my hands, so it doesn't look too good either!

I thought I had identified which oil triggered it so I stopped using that one. But it seems to come up now no matter what oil I use. Usually if I avoid massage for a week or so and put plenty of E45 on it, it goes down. But, as I really want to try to make a career as a therapist, this is obviously a concern.

Has anyone else had a similar problem and beaten it? Or can anyone offer me any advice about remedies? I would be very grateful for any advice- I'm willing to try anything to beat this!

Bridgette Bradley
Sep 29 2011 10:52PM
My advice would be to avoid using soaps,
Hand wash and especially medicated ones
to wash your hands. Simply use water unless
You are massaging and treating feet.
Amanda Clegg
Sep 29 2011 11:34PM
Try aloe vera gel - preferable fresh if you can get a plant: they're really easy to grow. I found, when I cut my hand once, that if you wear surgical gloves you still have enough sensation for palpating muscles, and the clients can't really feel the difference. Worth a try as long as you use the non-latex/hypoallergenic ones.
Deborah Sheppard
Sep 30 2011 12:01PM
Thanks to you both for your tips. I'll try them out.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mike Colquhoun
Sep 30 2011 4:48PM
Hi Deborah
Long term aim to use no medium, it does not come naturally but I gave up using any medium 15 years ago, my hands are more sensitive or is it that my brain is better at interpreting? but it took me years to realise this.
Yours aye Mike
Angelina Kelly
Oct 1 2011 2:16PM
Hi Deborah,

I'm a Reflexologist and gave up using all sented oils, creams or lotions when I was diagnosed with cancer. Nowadays I use only E45 when massaging because the nurses told me in the hospital that anyone on medication should not be massaged with any sented product whatsoever as it could influence their medication. They advised that E45 or Emuleve are the only products that should be used. The only time this is not so is in paliative care.

Hope this helps.

Angelina Kelly
Deborah Sheppard
Oct 2 2011 10:54AM
Thanks to all of you for your advice, I really appreciate it. It has given me hope, as I had started to worry that I might have to give up massage.

Frances Patterson
Oct 4 2011 5:05PM
Hi Deborah,
You might consider studying Thai Massage, Tui Na (chinese massage) or Shiatsu as they are all dry massages. Personally I offer Thai and Swedish, which is helps my dermatitis, because i'm not constantly exposing my hands to oils (my hands do flare up if a I do a lot of Swedish).
You can wash your hands with Aqueous cream (availble from pharmacies), but you need to ask for the cream that is suitable for washing use, as some are a little bit thicker and don't wash off as well.
You could try just using a plain oil to massage with.
Deborah Sheppard
Oct 5 2011 1:29PM
Thanks for your advice and suggestions, Frances. I have been thinking about Thai massage- I was going to start by attending a Thai Foot Massage course, and see how I go from there.

I have tried using just sunflower oil, but my hands still came up. Have you tried massage balm or wax? I was thinking of trying the Tui / Songbird bee balm; it's supposed to be very mild and to actually help excema and dermititis. They have a stand at Camexpo so I was going to have a loko at it then.
Frances Patterson
Oct 5 2011 9:31PM
Hi Deborah,
Thai is amazing on so many levels: its's good for detecting muscular imblances, improving flexibility, is profoundly de-stressing and on a deeper level, working on the energy lines helps to rebalance. Starting with foot massage is a brilliant idea and a really good introduction, because a number of the energy lines begin or end in the feet.
Thank you for the tip about balms or waxes, I'll look into those.
Good luck with the thai foot massage.

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