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Massage and acupressure may help child with eczema

Benefits of massage

Giving your child a gentle massage every day may help reduce eczema.

Parent massaging baby’s feet

People have been using massage and acupressure for centuries to relieve stress and promote wellness. To find out whether these techniques could help children with eczema, dermatologists conducted a few very small studies.

While the results are promising, the number of people in these studies is too small to tell how well these techniques work. Given the findings, they certainly may be worth trying.

Here’s what these dermatologists learned:

  • Massage: Children who received a 20-minute massage and moisturizer had less eczema than the children who received only moisturizer.

  • Acupressure: Four of the 7 patients who received acupressure had less eczema.

  • Safety: Massage and acupressure appear safe.

Tips for giving your child a massage

  • Be very gentle.

  • Avoid massaging skin with eczema.

  • Try giving the massage when you apply your child’s moisturizer. Be sure to apply moisturizer everywhere and avoid massaging skin with eczema.

Related AAD resources

Getty Images

Lio, P. “Alternative and complementary medicine in atopic dermatitis: An evidence-based approach.” (2014, August). In Lio PA (Chair), “What's boiling over: Atopic dermatitis and other eczematous conditions.” Forum presented at the Summer Academy Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Chicago, IL.

Sidbury R, Tom WL, et al. “Part 4: Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Part 4: Prevention of disease flares and use of adjunctive therapies and approaches.” J Am Acad Dermatol 2014;71:1218-33