Muscle massage guns can come with different features and forms, but at their core, massage guns operate pretty much the same way:
A lot of vibrations deep into the skin.
But while these vibrations might feel very good, and have sizeable benefits with recovery and pain management as well, not everyone has the same positive experience.
It turns out that some people can have a temporary itch after they use any type of percussive massager.
Read on to find out why this might happen, because while it’s rare to have the specific skin condition that leads to itches after vibrations, sometimes it’s not just that genetic trait that can cause it.
So, let’s dive into what might be going on if this happens to you.
Let’s get started.
Quick Answer to Why Your Skin Might Itch After Using A Massage Gun
If your skin itches after you use a massage gun, it might be due to a fairly rare skin condition called “vibratory urticaria.” The effects can develop within minutes after the skin is exposed to vibration. This causes weals, temporarily raising a part of the skin in addition to itching. It’s a rare disorder, estimated to occur in 5 out of 1000 people. It can range from mild discomfort, to full on hives. However, there are other possible reasons as well for skin to itch after vibration. (Sources: medlineplus.gov, dermnetnz.org)
If you itch after using a massage gun, consider using the lowest setting as to avoid irritating your skin too much.
Vibratory Urticaria can also flare up with other activities: using power tools like drills and angle grinders, towel drying, riding over something bumpy, mowing the lawn, other forms of massage, and even clapping your hands.
Aside from vibration, however, there’s another similar condition called “pressure urticaria.”
It sounds similar because it’s quite related to vibratory urticaria in that it comes from pressure on the skin instead.
It can flare up from wearing tight clothes or any other sustained pressure like walking.
And if you’ve seen a massage gun being used before, oftentimes someone will use it to really dig into their muscles, causing a lot of pressure.
However, although it might feel good to dig into your skin, we recommend letting the machine do its job to push vibrations into the skin at high speeds to loosen tissue and aid recovery.
Is it normal if my skin itches after using a massage gun?
It’s not very common to have vibratory urticaria, but if you’ve never had this condition before, don’t be alarmed if your skin starts to get irritated after a massage gun session. Statistically, it affects up to five people in a thousand, and for most people it’s a very mild reaction. (Source)
To be on the safe side though, if you have any reaction from using a massage gun, first time or not, visit your doctor, preferably a dermatologist, for a check-up.
Okay, now that you know one (fairly rare) cause of the itches, let’s get into why it might be a bit more complicated than that.
Because you might even be a seasoned massage gun user and wonder why your skin is itching all of a sudden.
In the next section, we’re going to talk about other possible reasons aside from vibratory urticaria.
5 MORE Reasons Why Your Skin Might Itch After Using A Massage Gun
- Allergic reaction: First and foremost, it might not even be the massage gun’s vibrations in the first place. Have you tried using any new massage oils recently?
Using massage oils with your muscle massage gun can definitely enhance your self-massage and make it close to an authentic spa experience.
But if you’ve recently introduced any new oils, you might just find out that you’re allergic to at least one of them.
Using someone else’s massage gun?
It might also be that you’re allergic to the material of the massage gun’s head (or whatever touched it previously.)
Some people have a very rare allergy to silicone, which is a synthetic rubbery material similar to latex that’s used in many products, including some massage gun heads as well as grippy parts and handles of things.
People rarely have silicone allergies versus latex, but it can happen.
Have a latex allergy?
Speaking of latex, Maybe someone used latex gloves when using the massage gun before you. Always maintain your massage gun and keep it clean after use–especially if someone else borrowed it.
- Increased blood flow to the area: Massage guns can aid recovery by getting rid of waste products in your muscles.
They do this by increasing the flow of blood in the area through percussive stimulation.
But this increased blood flow can activate your nerves as well.
A Healthline article explains that this can happen with people who increase their heart rate and flow of blood:
“This causes your capillaries and arteries to expand, and stimulates your nerve cells, which can lead to an itchy sensation.” (Source)
- Dry skin: Itchiness can come from interaction with dry skin.
And interacting with your skin is something a massage gun does a lot of, like with our Musclegun’s 3200 RPM speed, for example.
This high speed may promote better recovery in a shorter time, but you have to be careful it’s not irritating your skin if it’s extremely dry.
Try using moisturiser a few minutes before you massage yourself to let the moisture absorb into your skin, especially in the dryer months.
- Other skin conditions like Eczema: If you have pre-existing skin conditions on the areas you massaged, you might not catch them flaring up.
This can happen especially if you massage areas of your body that you can’t see—leading to quite an itchy experience.
- Irritation: Some peoples’ skin is just naturally more sensitive, and requires a lighter touch.
Try getting used to the lower massage gun settings while not digging into your muscles so much: and be aware if you have a massage gun that puts out a sudden burst of speed when you press hard.
Thankfully, most people can still use massage guns and do other vibration-intensive activities if they address these other possible causes.
To summarise, there’s a rare skin condition called “vibratory urticaria” that can cause itching after using a massage gun.
However, since it’s quite rare, other possible causes like increased blood flow, allergic reactions, dry skin are more likely reasons why someone may itch after a percussive massage.
If you’re just starting your massage gun journey (or if you’re about to use a massage gun someone else has used,) be sure to take it easy and start slow.
Our Musclegun provides an easy massage experience with or without oil, with its ergonomic design: so you can get just the right amount of self-directed massage. Comes with a carrying case, a Samsung 3400maH battery for up to 8 hours of massaging use—delivered overnight straight to your door NZ wide.