Are you using a suitable massage lotion for your treatments?
Whether your patients are professional athletes or casual joggers, a suitable massage lotion makes every treatment run smoothly. The best choice you can make as a physiotherapist is to choose a specialised liquid crystal massage lotion that easily penetrates and actively contributes to repairing, strengthening and keeping the skin of your patients in tip-top shape.
Now more than ever, physiotherapists play an instrumental part in this new era of preventive and curative skin care. Discover how liquid crystal massage lotions can make a world of difference for your manual therapies and therapeutical sports massages.
How does the skin function?
Did you know that our skin is the body’s most important and largest organ? With a surface of approximately 1.8 square meters and weighing 4 to 7 kilos, our skin accounts for ten per cent of our total body weight. Moreover, the skin is our first line of defence against the outside world and plays a significant part in our overall health.
Structure of the skin
The skin structure is built up out of three layers: the epidermis and the dermis (which make up the two top layers of the skin) and the hypodermis. The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, serves as a barrier. Preventing water loss and the invasion of microbes and other irritants. This avascular layer, just a few cells thick, is the first layer to be wounded by traumatic skin injuries such as abrasions, burns and scrapes, and depends on the layer below, the dermis, for physical and nutritional support. The dermis consists of connective tissue and is jam-packed with nerve endings, blood vessels and specialised cells as fibroblasts. This layer is the main site of inflammation and is highly pain-sensitive when the skin sustains any trauma. Lastly, the deepest-seated skin layer, the hypodermis, varies in thickness depending on the location and a person’s degree of adiposity. This deep layer mainly consists of fat tissue, connective tissue and blood vessels.
Functions of the skin
The skin has six key duties. These are:
- Protective function: the skin protects the body against ultraviolet radiation, dehydration, bacterial infections and viruses, mechanical trauma and physical injuries.
- Sensation: somatic sensory receptors transmit information via the skin about the surroundings to the brain.
- Temperature regulation: the blood vessels and sweat glands assist the skin in retaining (vasoconstriction) and releasing heat to maintain body temperature.
- Immunity system: the skin functions as a physical barrier to destroy microorganisms.
- The elasticity function enables movement and growth.
- Endocrine function: takes care of excreting certain waste materials from the body.
What are the leading factors that negatively affect the skin?
Day in and day out our skin is exposed to external factors such as: ultraviolet radiation, heat, (extreme) weather conditions and air pollution (whose effects on the skin mimic those of ultraviolet radiation and smoking combined). Similarly, our general health and lifestyle can significantly affect our skin. Our normal routine and environmental factors heavily contribute to breaking down the skin’s protective barrier, causing it to become thinner, drier, less supple, and more susceptible to further damage. Therefore, the importance of using a qualitative lotion during (sports) massages is undeniable. Top athletes are massaged frequently, so it is best to opt for a lotion that soothes and calms the skin.
Shine a light on the athlete’s skin
The skin of professional athletes has to cross swords with specific lifestyle factors associated with elite and amateur sports. External factors that are to blame for the subsequent deterioration of the skin barrier are:
- friction and irritation from sportswear
- saddle pressure and other buttocks-related issues
- intensive exercise and repetitive movements
- sweating: transpiration increases the risk of developing infections in the skin folds and provides the ideal environment for microorganisms to grow.
- frequently showering removes dirt and washes away good bacteria and skin lipids simultaneously. As a result, the protective layer of the skin dissolves.
The importance of the skin’s natural balance
When the skin’s natural balance of an athlete is compromised, it is less able to work as a protective barrier. As a result, the skin is more prone to be dry and itchy. Not to mention the skin injuries like scrapes and burns that are bound to occur with athletes. Such injuries can heavily affect their performance.
Good skin care is essential
A wound –of any nature- demands a lot of energy from the body to incite the healing process. The required energy can no longer set physical efforts into motion. Skin injuries that are not properly taken care of can obstruct movement or interfere with sleep. This can be catastrophic for an athlete’s recovery and performance and must be avoided at all costs. The specialist skincare lotions with which you treat your patients are essential to restoring, strengthening and keeping your patients’ skin in tip-top shape. Physiotherapists best steer clear from using quick fixes such as Vaseline, which, rather than allowing the skin to breathe, cuts off evaporation. Likewise, refrain from using anti-bacterial products that unsettle the skin’s natural flora. In the same way, is the use of irritating products with a high ethereal oil content not recommended.
Why should I use a qualitative massage lotion?
Using a qualitative massage lotion instead supports the physiotherapist in working around wounds and stimulating the healing process. At the same time, such a lotion minimises the mechanical stress on the skin during therapeutic sports massages or manual therapy.
Which massage products are available and what is the best lotion for physiotherapists ?
Massage products come in different combinations and forms. From inexpensive (talcum) powders to hydrogels and highly lubricated oils that are incredibly hard to remove and prone to stain clothing. Selecting a suitable massage lotion can be a daunting task. The best option lubricates and protects the patient’s skin and the physiotherapist’s hands. These are always a physiotherapist’s most important instrument for sports massages and manual therapies.
Determining if a massage lotion is the cream of the crop
Keep an eye peeled for the following characteristics:
- Very high moisturisation level: retains the skin suppleness and hydration level
- Optimal absorption: good absorption ensures that the skin is hydrated, protected and well-balanced
- Composition supports obtaining the desired therapeutical effect
Overall, the available massage products and lotions can be classified into three groups based on their formula or the difference in oil levels. That way, you can incorporate proper skincare and massage products into your physiotherapy treatments.
Oil in water-emulsions
The principal advantages of “oil in water” emulsions are that they are non-sticky, fairly easy to remove and rapidly hydrate the skin as the oil nourishes and softens it. On the downside, they are not known to withstand long massages.
Water in oil-emulsions
“Water in oil” emulsions are well known for their ability to facilitate massaging, reduce water loss through the skin and give longer results. Nevertheless, an oily and difficult-to-remove layer will remain on the skin, causing it to feel sticky.
The solution: liquid crystal emulsions
Fortunately, science has come up with a solution. One that actively merges sports medicine, physiotherapy and dermatology while combining the best of both “water in oil” and “oil in water’s” workings and advantages. This liquid crystal emulsion, suitable for various applications, allows the active ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin and swing into action to support the massage effectively.
The advantages of liquid crystal emulsion are plenty:
- Good lubrication without clogging the skin
- Direct and long-term hydration: makes the skin soft and keeps it hydrated over time
- Smooths the skin: the formation of a hydrophobic film on the skin protects it from drying out and maintains the skin’s natural water vapour
- Good skin wetting properties: gives the skin a soft, smooth, supple touch and feel
- Washable: non-sticky, clear and dry skin after the massage
- Good spreadability
- Easy absorption: efficiently protecting and restoring the skin’s natural balance
Physio Care: a liquid crystal massage lotion especially developed for physiotherapists
Physio Care: the solution for all skincare needs
Offering three distinct Gymna Physio Care neutral lotions differing in oil levels, you only need a few products to provide a complete range of treatments (a warming massage lotion is available as well).
You can now match the right product to any treatment, according to the length of treatment, type of treatment and condition of the patient’s skin. The Gymna Physio Care line is dermatologically tested, easy to rinse off and suited for various applications and for any skin type (even sensitive ones). In addition, all Physio Care products have specifically adapted gliding properties, are hypoallergenic, paraben-free and have a neutral pH. Advantages for you as a physiotherapist:
- Excellent gliding and dispersion features
- Optimal hand care
- Hydration: both immediate and long-term
- Restructures and repairs the natural skin balance
Advantages for your patients:
- Moisturised skin
- Optimal skin respiration
- Effective skin protection
- Stimulation of the natural healing properties of the skin
- Good absorption rate
- Dry and soft skin at the end of the treatment
Do you want to try Physio Care or do you want more information?