Treating lupus

What do I need to know about massage therapy and lupus?

In general, massage therapy is safe for a person with cutaneous lupus. However, there are a few specific instances where caution is advised. For example, deep vigorous massage could cause bleeding under the skin or visible bruising. This may cause “koebnerization,” the process whereby cutaneous lupus may be produced at the injured sites.

Another possible concern is the use of various oils during a massage. If the oils used were to cause an allergic reaction, lupus could be activated due to koebnerization. While these issues are uncommon, and the benefit of massage for musculoskeletal disease is positive, it is worthwhile for those with cutaneous lupus to be aware and cautious.

Medically reviewed on July 18, 2013