If you have ever gotten a massage, you may have experienced the occasional rash or outbreak of hives afterwards.
While hives are not uncommon after a massage, they can be uncomfortable and frustrating.
In this post, we will explore the causes of hives after massage and what you can do to manage and prevent them.
What Are Hives?
Hives, also known as urticaria, are raised, red, and itchy welts that appear on the skin.
They are often caused by an allergic reaction to a substance, such as food, medication, or environmental factors.
Hives can range in size from a few millimeters to several inches and may appear and disappear quickly.
Why Do Some People Get Hives After a Massage?
There are several reasons why someone might get hives after a massage.
It could be due to an allergic reaction to the massage oil or lotion that was used.
It is also possible that the person has a sensitivity to the type of fabric used in the massage table or sheets.
It can also be due to histamines being released from the massage, which can cause an allergic reaction.
In some cases, the hives may simply be a result of the person’s skin reacting to the pressure and friction of the massage.
What to Do if You Have a Rash After a Massage
If you develop hives after a massage, it is important to stay calm and try to avoid scratching the affected area.
Scratching can worsen the symptoms and potentially lead to infection.
To alleviate the itch, you can try taking an over-the-counter antihistamine or applying a cold compress to the affected area.
If the hives are severe or accompanied by difficulty breathing or swallowing, you should seek medical attention immediately.
These symptoms could be signs of a more serious allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis.
If the hives are not severe and you are able to manage the symptoms, it is important to try to identify the cause of the reaction.
Keep track of any products or substances that you may have come into contact with before or during the massage, as this information can be helpful in determining the cause of the hives.
If you suspect that the hives were caused by the massage oil or lotion, you should inform the massage therapist and consider using a different product in the future.
Either way, it’s something you should bring up with your therapist.
Does Massage Release Histamine?
There is some evidence to suggest that massage may trigger the release of histamines in the body.
Histamines are chemicals that are produced by the immune system in response to an allergic reaction or injury.
They can cause symptoms such as swelling, redness, and itching.
In a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers found that massage therapy may increase histamine levels in the skin and lead to the development of hives.
However, it is important to note that this effect is not seen in all individuals and the exact mechanism by which massage may cause histamine release is not fully understood.
It is also worth noting that there are many other potential causes of hives, including allergic reactions to substances such as massage oils or lotions, and even the fabric used on the massage table.
If you are experiencing hives after a massage, it is important to try to identify the specific cause and take steps to prevent future outbreaks.
Related – Experiencing Histamine Release After Massage? (Here’s Why!)
Hives after a massage are a common occurrence and can often be managed with over-the-counter medications and avoidance of further exposure to the trigger.
If the hives are severe or accompanied by other symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.
By identifying the cause of the reaction and taking steps to prevent future outbreaks, you can enjoy the benefits of massage without the discomfort of hives.
Image credits – Photo by Benjamin Wedemeyer on Unsplash
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.