Massage And Psoriasis: Everything You Need to Know!

You Guys Asked For It, So Here It Is!

Out of all the email requests I get on non-massage chair related topics, this one tops the pile! A lot of you have asked me this question on massage and psoriasis in a few different ways. Someone wants to know if it’s safe for he/she to massage if they suffer from psoriasis, while another wants to know if it’s safe for them to massage their spouse who has psoriasis.

Not to worry as we’ll be answering all of these questions (and more!) in this post!


Let’s Touch On Psoriasis For A Moment!

If you’re reading this post you probably already know what psoriasis is, but for those who don’t, I think it’s important to give a quick description. Now before I do, let me make it very clear:

By no means am I offering medical opinion/advice, I am not an expert in the field and have no qualifications on the medical condition of psoriasis.

Also important to note that I’m not a massage therapist either. Knowing all of this, why in the world should you even listen to what I have to say!?

To be honest, you don’t have to! However, some of these things I am familiar with because either I have experienced it for myself or someone close to me has. In the case of psoriasis, my brother was the unfortunate soul to inherit psoriasis from dad’s side.

So what is psoriasis? And where does it come from?

I like the definition on Mayo Clinic as it’s easy to understand….

“Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes red, itchy scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp.” Source: Mayo Clinic.

Trust me when I say it’s more than just an annoyance. I actually had psoriasis as a child growing up, but in a miracle of some form, it disappeared as I grew into my teenage years. I don’t have any trace of psoriasis and it’s been this way for the last 25 years of my life.

However, not everyone can be so lucky. Psoriasis is generally considered to be a long term disease with unfortunately no cure.

This Is What Psoriasis Looks Like
This Is What Psoriasis Looks Like

The worst part about it is there’s no pattern or consistency to it. When it decides to flare up, it flares hard! When it decides to check out for a bit, it disappears like it’s disappeared forever. Of course there are things that can cause it to flare up, just as there are things to make it more tolerable and easier to deal with.

If you want to know more about the triggers/causes, risk factors, symptoms and a whole range of other topics on psoriasis, check out the earlier link to Mayo Clinic!


Psoriasis And Massage: Is It Safe For Someone With Psoriasis To Get A Massage?

Ever heard of the term contraindication? It’s a term that exists in both the medical and massage fields. In terms of massage, a contraindication can be classified as local, absolute, or relative. Don’t worry we’ll explain each in more detail, but for now….

You should know that a contraindication is when a patient has a condition(s) in which performing massage therapy could result in harm. Basically if a patient has these things, it may not be a good idea to perform massage.

An example of a local contraindication may be a burn, wound, or scar. Since it’s local to one area, massaging that area should be avoided, but other areas can be massaged.
An example of absolute contraindication may be if a patient is intoxicated, has a high fever, or respiratory failure. In this scenario, massage is an absolute no-no.
An example of relative contraindication may be if a patient is suffering from arthritis, or diabetes. Massage treatment needs to be altered to suit the patient’s condition(s).

So why all this back and forth about massage contraindications?

Is psoriasis a massage contraindication, or is it safe to massage anyone with psoriasis? This is a difficult question to answer because everyone’s psoriasis is different. One person may have extensive psoriasis covering his/her whole body, whereas another may have a really mild occurrence here and there.

Generally speaking, it should be safe to get a massage for those with psoriasis. However, your therapist should be the one making that decision and not you!

Always discuss your health concerns with your therapist and let he/she decide if that is a contraindication to massage. Of course the best thing you can do is discuss it with both your physician as well as your therapist so you have both a medical and non-medical opinion.

Check With Your Therapist Before Proceeding!
Check With Your Therapist Before Proceeding!


Psoriasis And Massage: Is It Safe To Massage Someone With Psoriasis?

We already addressed if it’s safe for someone with psoriasis to get a massage. Now let’s talk about whether it’s safe to massage someone with psoriasis. This stems from the confusion around psoriasis being contagious. Is it contagious?

Psoriasis is not contagious. This means you cannot get it from someone else. It is an autoimmune disorder (source: healthline).

So by massaging someone else, you will not get psoriasis! Of course not everyone is comfortable massaging another with a skin condition, so that element is something you should consider when looking for a massage therapist. The biggest way to avoid these kinda issues is to make everything clear from the onset, that way there are no surprises.

Massage Is Generally Safe


And That’s Really All There Is!

We spent the majority of this post discussing the safety around massage and psoriasis, but massage can actually be very beneficial to those suffering from this disease.

Because massage has a tendency to decrease inflammation, it may actually provide some relief to those suffering from psoriasis! Did you know this?

Also one way to make it even more effective is to bring your own oil/ointment and have the therapist apply and massage using that instead of the conventional massage oils.

If you suffer from psoriasis, what are some of your tips and tricks when it comes to massage? Please drop a comment down below and share with the rest of us!

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

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