Do Massage Therapists Wear Gloves? (And The Reasons Why)


Massage gloves are not always worn by massage therapists, although it should be. Most clients may prefer a more intimate massage experience with skin contact. However, it is also dependent on the type of massage and also the client they are servicing. 

Do Massage Therapists Wear Gloves? (And The Reasons Why)
Do Massage Therapists Wear Gloves? (And The Reasons Why)

Reasons For Using Massage Gloves

Under typical circumstances, most massage therapists do not use gloves. Close physical contact with our clients may expose us to a wide assortment of pathogens that can cause potentially dangerous infections. Massage therapists rarely wear gloves.

Some therapists who work with specific high-risk populations will routinely wear nitrile gloves and do not want to come into contact with any fluids that may carry infections. While they can look for suspicious lesions on the skin to report back to the client, aestheticians are trained to care for the skin and possibly treat some of those conditions.

Sometimes wearing gloves is necessary. I live in Colorado, where the newest trend is the massage with CBD or hemp or THC oil. So if you do not wear gloves, you get the same treatment you are giving. Basically, you absorb the oil and after a couple of massages are stoned. The biggest problem with gloves is they do not breathe, so you get sweaty hands, and of course, you add to your practice expenses.

Also, while massaging with essential oils, please do not take them internally. They can be extremely dangerous in case you get them in your mouth. Getting them into your eyes can also be very uncomfortable. Hence, aromatherapy practitioners should use gloves.

While administering a back massage, it is essential that the back is clean and there are no open wounds, as that would be a health hazard. It is also vital that their doctor has cleared it and that they are making healthy choices in their day to day lives. The massage therapist may need to wear gloves when working on them to make sure to keep with safety precautions.

Do Massage Therapists Wear Gloves? (And The Reasons Why)
Do Massage Therapists Wear Gloves? (And The Reasons Why)

Some Other Issues

Not every client will honestly fill out a medical questionnaire. Therefore, if a therapist is suspicious about a client, they can wear sterile gloves during the massage to avoid touching the client’s skin on skin.

Do Massage Therapists Wear Gloves? (And The Reasons Why)
Do Massage Therapists Wear Gloves? (And The Reasons Why)

Massage therapists can do facial massage, but there are other elements of a facial treatment which do not come under their scope of practice. Therapists treat muscles and soft tissue under the skin. Skin is incidental to what we do. A facial massage is completely different from an aesthetician’s facial. Facial massage would work the superficial facial muscles and possibly some jaw (masseter) work. Aesthetician’s facial helps with skin conditions, although part of the treatment includes massage, which is technically not “massage” because aestheticians cannot massage under their scope of practice. Aestheticians cannot treat soft tissue, so any message given during a facial would be superficial.

The thing I noticed while I was taking an introduction to aesthetics course is that even though I am a licensed massage therapist, I was not allowed to “massage” the face or arms, and I had to wear gloves while treating.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter