Why Do I Break Out After a Massage?

A massage has many advantages, including giving the skin a natural balance by reducing stress. However, massages can cause potential irritation since they include lots of touching. So a breakout can occur depending on how sensitive your skin is to inflammation.

Why do I break out after a massage? You break out because hair follicles fill with dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria during a massage, causing a breakout. Breakouts most often appear where our skin has the most oil glands. So notably, the face, chest, and even upper back and shoulders usually get affected.

It is uncommon, but sometimes irritation from a massage can potentially disrupt the delicate balance in the pores, which can cause temporary pore damage and may cause inflammation.

This inflammatory reaction causes red lesions on the skin during stroking or kneading movements during the massage. To understand how some people’s skin responds poorly to massage, we need to know how massages affect the skin.

How Can a Massage Affect a Breakout?

The skin is directly impacted by massage through contact and friction. This action on the skin increases body temperature, dilating blood vessels and allowing nutrient-rich blood to reach the surface.

In addition, massage stimulates both the sebaceous or oil glands and the sweat glands. Ideally, it results in an improvement of the skin’s overall condition.

Massage therapy may not be for everyone, particularly individuals with certain skin conditions such as ulcers, eczema, and warts. In addition, some health conditions mean that massages are contraindicated—for example, some autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis.

A masseur needs to understand the client’s needs.

For example, too much force should not be applied during a massage to the extent of pain. Likewise, massaging on existing skin problems or swelling should be avoided. It can intensify the swelling or rash, prolonging the time it needs to heal and even leading to discoloration or worse, burning or pain.

The massage force releases new blood flow, carrying oxygen to tense or damaged muscles. As a result, the tissues begin to relax and heal. The healthier your muscles become, the better the affected nerves will function.

Some people feel itchy during a massage because of this process. It starts as temporary tingling, then becomes numbness or even itching. The reaction can be instant, or it might take time to develop. It is usually because blood flow reaches areas of muscular congestion or poor circulation during the massage.

For some people, this inflammatory process continues. The skin cells are overly sensitive to a minor injury, such as scratching in this condition. They may have Dermatographia.

Signs and symptoms of Dermatographia include redness, itching, and hive-like welts. The causes of Dermatographia include:

  • Stress
  • A history of allergies
  • Excessive rubbing from massages, clothing, or bedding
  • Infections
  • Certain medications, such as penicillin
  • Exercises that cause excessive skin rubbing

An inappropriate histamine release most likely triggers dermatographism without a typical immune signal.

1.) A massage promotes the release of histamine

Histamine acts as a neurotransmitter that increases the permeability of blood vessels. Increasing the permeability of blood vessels results in vasodilation. With this improved blood circulation, histamine can have local effects on particular skin parts, causing red welts and hives.

2.) The kind of massage oil used

Typically, massage therapists use oils, and lotions are hypoallergenic professional massage products with high-grade ingredients crafted to be gentle on your skin. Also, if you have an allergy, several brands and formulas will be better for you, including one with no nut oils.

Usually, massage oils reduce friction as they help the hands glide over the body rather than absorb the skin. Rarely, a person may break out due to the fats in certain oils that don’t get absorbed by the skin.

If you are sensitive to oils or lotions, you should let your massage therapist know beforehand. When these fats in certain oils lay on top of the skin, it irritates and causes inflammation, leading to a breakout.

Some people are prone to breakouts because they have severe acne. Those who have breakout have them in specific areas. It is usually small and very localized.

In these people, trigger points in the massage could trigger acne. So can certain conditions such as lack of oxygen, waste fluid build-up, increased temperature, sweating, and dryness promote acne growth.

A facial massage can be a nightmare for someone with acne-prone skin. So if you have acne-prone areas of your skin, the massage therapist will leave it relatively untouched.

Is it Normal to Break Out After a Massage?

You’re not expected to have a breakout during a massage. It is pretty uncommon, although massages can cause minor inflammation and itching. Unfortunately, if you have oily skin or sensitive skin, the decongesting effect of the massage can manifest as a small breakout.

Usually, your masseur would not massage an area where you have had rashes. Also, good massage centers will ask if you have allergies, health conditions, or whether you have had a skin reaction after a massage.

Such information is vital for your safety, and it will influence how they will handle the massage.

Suppose you ever develop a rash after a massage. Don’t stress out if your skin is acting up. The best thing to do is to remain calm but cautious. Try to notice where the inflammation is localized and how it progresses over time.

Most rashes resolve on their own. However, if you have an allergy or see the rash worsening, seek medical attention.

Resist the temptation to go overboard and load your skin with treatment creams, oils, and masks. Remember, any intense ingredients can exacerbate inflammation. Instead, you can try a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen until it resolves.

You may also want to consider going makeup-free for a day or two so that your pores can breathe while preventing any bacteria from being passed on by makeup brushes. However, the most effective way to avoid breakouts is by keeping your face and body clean.

How Do I Stop Breaking Out After a Massage?

It can be tricky to know what is causing the skin to break out after a massage. But it is rarely due to the massage alone. However, you can try different solutions and see which might work best.

You could be reacting to the massage oil used, especially if you have sensitive skin. The irritation by these oils can cause pores in the skin to plug, leading to pimples on the face or rashes on other parts of the body.

1.) Avoid oils with smells or flavoring

If this is the case, you may want to try a different type of massage oil. Avoid those with any smell or flavoring since they may have additives that trigger the breakout. You can also take your massage oil to the massage center. At least that way, you know that it is not contaminated with any bacteria.

2.) Wash before and after a massage

Also, maintaining hygiene following the massage will clear the skin of any extra oil that can block pores. A simple way to achieve this is through showering; it will wash away the oil and bacteria. Another precaution is to insist that the person giving you the massage wash their hands before starting it.

That will remove any oils and bacteria from previous massages. Some masseurs even use gloves because of maintaining good hygiene.

3.) Avoid the sun after

Once you have had a massage, it is best to stay out of the sun. Direct exposure amplifies damaging effects on your skin, especially when using skincare products. So make a conscious effort to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and stay away from the heat for sensitive skincare.

4.) Hydrate yourself

Hydration after a massage is vital. The body needs a sufficient amount of water to prevent dehydration, and it also caters to the need for our skin to stay glowing by keeping it hydrated.

Consumption of liquids like water can load up the skin’s radiance keeping it refreshed, and helps maintain your skin’s elasticity. In addition, people who drink lots of water are less likely to suffer from scars, wrinkles, soft lines, and other skin issues.

5.) Eat right

Making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating healthy food, maintaining proper hygiene, exercising, and avoiding stress won’t only be great for your health. Still, it will also improve your skin and help you prevent breakouts after a massage. In addition, a healthy lifestyle will result in glowing skin.

Now its time to hear from you:

What do you think is causing your breakout after your massage?

What have you tried to fix this problem?

Let’s hear it in the comments below.


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