allergic to massage oil

topic posted Wed, July 11, 2007 - 12:52 AM by  Tiffany
Hello all,
New member here. I believe that after 9 years of using the same massage oil ( a blend of sweet almond oil with essential oils of lavender, chamomile, and clary sage) I have developed an allergy. I have been dealing with a rash/dermatitis for over 2 months on the inside of my forearms and after narrowing down all the causes I think I might be getting it from my oil! The irritation gets better over my weekend, but gets inflamed again when I start my work week. Has anyone developed an allergy to their massage oil?
posted by:
  • Re: allergic to massage oil

    Wed, July 11, 2007 - 5:37 AM
    No allergy, but I don't use any essential oils in mine.
    Try getting rid of the essential oils and just use your carrier oil.

    Lots of people are allergic to scent and you should always make sure a client isn't before using essential oils on them. Possibly giving them a patch test on the inside of the elbow before doing a full body massage with essential oils.
  • Re: allergic to massage oil

    Wed, July 11, 2007 - 8:45 AM
    I'm allergic to a lot of massage oils, and half the hypoallergenic stuff I've used is either irritating to me, my clients, smells bad, or actually carries allergens in them.

    I consequently don't use lubricants (oils or lotions). Have you considered trying a style of massage that doesn't require lubricants?
    • Re: allergic to massage oil

      Sun, July 15, 2007 - 12:04 AM
      If changing to an unscented oil, perhaps other than the base oil you have been using, sometimes you can use some type of cornstarch powder to create some slip instead of oil.

      Best luck.

      p.s. A friend of mine while we were in Central America got "Contact Dermatitis" tried all sorts of stuff. What ended up working fresh squeezed lemon juice and sunshine.
  • Re: allergic to massage oil

    Wed, July 11, 2007 - 11:34 PM
    one of my teachers was allergic to the biotone we used in classes, and he said it was after years of working with it. Maybe your body just got tired of the extras, like others have said try the oil with out the essentials.
    • Re: allergic to massage oil

      Thu, July 12, 2007 - 12:40 AM
      I agree with Julia. Anytime you over-saturate yourself with any food substance, you can develop an allergy to it. Can you eat almonds without a reaction? Try using sesame or jojoba oil for massage instead. Nuts are a common allergy, and I bet it's either the almond oil or one of the essential oils that's causing the reaction. I've had many allergies and spent years going to an allergist. He told me any substance can cause an allergic reaction, whether it be through touch, eaten, or airborne, and your body can have an allergic reaction from any of those exposures in any way- sneezing and sinus congestion, hives, asthma, edema, itchy ears or eyes, or any histamine/lymph reaction. It probably is the massage oil, but it could be a food, pollen, or anything!
      • Re: allergic to massage oil

        Thu, July 12, 2007 - 8:46 AM
        i had a similar thing happen too. a rash all the way up my arms.

        anti-bacterial soap either caused or added to the problem (specifically dial)
        but i was working at a spa and using alot of oil too.

        i didn't keep doing oil massage - so i don't know

        it was a freaky experience though - super challenging


        (i do find vitamin b is helpful and an oil - fish or borage or something)

      • Unsu...

        Re: allergic to massage oil

        Mon, July 23, 2007 - 7:49 PM
        It's not unheard of for adults to suddenly develop an allergic to a substance that previously caused no problems. My skin is sensitive to almond oil, but since nut allergies are common, I do not use any nut oils for massage (I don't use commercial detergents or dryer sheets full of chemicals to do laundry either).

        You might try an organic lotion called Lotus Touch. They use a variety of natural emollients, and I like it far better than the mess of oils.

        If you are experiencing inflammation or a histamine reaction, a good natural remedy is Quercetin, taken daily... it's an antioxidant that inhibits the body's histamine reaction. And generally, allergies are an indication of the immune system overreacting to something that is probably not harmful to the body. If you have been under a lot of stress or your health or habits are not what they should be, that may be the root cause of a sudden allergy.

        But as long as you are experiencing dermatitis, I would lay off any harsh detergent soaps for washing the body or clothes. Use a gentle cleanser for bathe with, like Dr Bronner's.
    • Unsu...

      Re: allergic to massage oil

      Wed, September 5, 2007 - 7:05 PM
      Which Biotone? I've been heavily covered with Biotone Advanced Therapy lotion for two or three hours a day the last couple of years. It's hypoallergenic and scent free. I'm sensitive to a number of oils and essences, but this stuff is fine with me and I've never heard a negative comment from a client - only positive.
      • Re: allergic to massage oil

        Tue, September 11, 2007 - 12:29 PM
        I have a negative reaction to Biotone as well.
        Have been told it's petroleum-based... and it's quite smelly & soapy/waxy for a scent-free product.
        I used a scent-free dense veg.oil combo lotion called Aroma Vera.
        Rainbow Grocers (SF) used to carry it years ago.
        Do a search if you want to try it out. Not very expensive either. Doesn't stain sheets!
        Best lotion ever for my structual deep tissue type of work.
        Good Luck.

Recent topics in "Massage Therapy & Bodywork"

Topic Author Replies Last Post
draping and new massage ethics sandy 18 February 5, 2016
do you discuss modesty during intake? Andrew 32 August 10, 2014
draping laws questions sinecure 53 August 10, 2014
HOW TO Build Your Own Sound Healing Massage Table Unsubscribed 1 May 20, 2014