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Dr. Alex Stone, DPT, CSCS

Author, Expert Board Member

  • Education: University of Washington, Bastyr University
  • Expertise: Physical Therapy, Orthopedics, Fitness

Bio:

Alex Stone is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA). He currently practices orthopedics in Bellevue, Washington, and manages an online health coaching business via social media (@dr.alexstone). He is passionate about health science education and general health/wellness optimization.

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Itchy After Massage Gun

Itchy After Massage Gun? Here’s Why And 4 Things You Can Do

Are you feeling itchy after massage gun? Well, you’re not alone!

Itchy skin after using a vibrating massage gun is a common problem many people face.

Percussive therapy has its benefits, so when this problem flares up, it can be a nuisance. But don’t worry, in this article, we’ll not only cover the reasons but present some practical solutions!

Ideally, the itchiness goes away, and you can enjoy the perks of percussive therapy, but for some, it may not be possible to overcome the issue. In such cases, it’s better not to use massage guns.

But before you give up, let’s discuss a few possible solutions to this itchy problem. We’ll also dive into which types of massage guns can be better suited for the job. Although we can’t guarantee our suggestions will work, it never hurts to try, right?

A man's red itchy back from a massager
Experience itchiness after using a massage gun.


Why Does a Massage Gun May Make Me Itchy?

Vibratory Urticaria

One potential cause of itchy skin after using a massage gun is vibratory urticaria. This rare genetic skin reaction appears as a red, itchy rash on the area where the vibration was applied.

It’s not just caused by massage guns but can also happen when jogging, using a lawn mower, operating power tools, or mountain biking.

Vibratory urticaria​1​ is caused by histamine release from cells. It may be temporary or recurring with subsequent vibrations. This reaction can be limited to the area exposed to the vibration or generalized, spreading to other body parts.

It’s not dangerous, and a fast recovery can be achieved with antihistamines as directed by your physician.

Allergic Reaction

Another possible cause of itchy skin is an allergic reaction to a component of the massage gun or a cleaning agent you used.

This is generally known as irritant dermatitis. Topical steroids can be used to treat this condition.

It’s also possible that an allergic reaction to massage oil or lotion can cause the skin to become itchy.

A man's arm showing an Allergic Reaction, Itchy After Massage Gun

Pressure Urticaria

This is another cause of itchy skin after using a massage gun. This happens when itchy hives are induced following exposure to pressure on the skin, such as walking, sitting, wearing tight clothing, or even using a vibrational massage gun.

You may also experience this condition when you exercise.

Nerves Firing

Sometimes, you may feel itchy without seeing any rashes or redness. This could be due to an increase in blood flow​2​ that increases the size of the blood vessels. This causes nerves to fire, creating an itchy or tingling sensation known as paresthesia.

Additionally, vibration from the massage gun may raise the skin’s temperature, causing itchiness. 

Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide​3​, released in the body during exercise or exposure to vibrations, can also create an itchy sensation. This is because nitric oxide increases blood flow and circulation.

Muscle Spasms

Lastly, high vibration levels from the massage gun may cause muscle spasms that can compress and irritate nerves, leading to itchiness. 

If you experience numbness while using your massage gun, be sure to stop and talk to your doctor or physical therapist. The itchiness from these last three causes typically goes away as soon as the massage session is over.

And the good news is that after the itchiness often comes instant pain relief and tension release.


So, Would Changing the Device Help?

Now that we’ve discussed the causes of itchiness from using a massage gun, it’s time to talk about whether changing the device could help alleviate the problem.

For some people, using a gentler or less vibrational massage gun could potentially do the trick.

It’s worth noting that most massage guns on the market today are fast-revving, vibrational devices with low amplitudes that don’t hit deep into the skin but do very frequent shallow hits. These devices typically have 2,000 to 3,200 hits per minute.

Nevertheless, deep percussions are required to release tight and tense myofascial (which is the connective tissue surrounding muscles and bones).

However, massage guns with higher amplitudes are more punchy but less intensive in vibrations and percussions.

These devices have longer strokes, which means the head travels a longer distance, resulting in a lower frequency. They typically have 800 to 2,000 to 2,500 hits per minute. Low-speed devices could be good for itchy skin.

Another idea that could be worth exploring is to try using a heated massage gun. Some models come with special ceramic tips that get warm and may help. Heated massage guns have the added benefit of increasing blood flow to the massaged area, which can help alleviate tension, soreness, and itchiness.

Overall, experimenting with different massage gun models and finding the one that works best for you and your skin is key. So don’t be afraid to try out different options and find the perfect match for your needs!


What Else Can You Do?

Okay, so we’ve covered the possible causes of itchiness after using a massage gun and how changing to a less vibrational device might help. But what if that’s not enough?

Here are some other solutions to try:

Massage Lotions

First up, let’s talk about massage lotions. While they may not be a miracle cure for itchy skin, they could certainly help.

We recommend doing a patch test first to ensure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.

And if you want to try something new, check out Therabody’s new TheraOne Soothe CBD Massage Oil.

This high-potency, USDA-Certified organic CBD formula eases tension and supports stress relief with all-natural essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and golden jojoba.

Sounds pretty heavenly, right?

Grey 120ml plastic bottle Theraone Soothe Cbd Massage Oil

Consult Your PT

If you’re still struggling with itchiness, we recommend consulting with your PT for other products. Physical therapists usually have a good understanding of massage oils and other products that could be helpful.

Remember, you can always try using a massage gun with your clothes on. This can help reduce the intensity of the vibrations on your skin.

Attachments

Another tip is to pay attention to attachments. Soft attachments, made from hypoallergenic foam or air-filled rubber, can be a better choice than hard plastic heads that can feel more aggressive.

We particularly recommend Theragun’s attachments, but all our picks (the recommended guns) below have at least one head for gentle treatment.

showin six different massage gun head attachments on a white background - Theragun Pro G5

And let’s not forget about heated massage guns. These devices have a special ceramic attachment that gets warm and may help soothe the skin.

In addition, using a massage gun with higher amplitude and slower revving could also help, as those deeper hits will be effective even through a shirt or other protective layer between the skin and the attachment.

Diet Supplements

Finally, let’s talk about diet and supplements. While more research is needed, some evidence suggests that taking vitamin E may help improve skin health.

Vitamin E​4​ has been a darling of dermatologists for more than half a century. It’s an ingredient in many cosmetic products and protects the skin from solar radiation.

It may not be the permanent solution to allergic reactions, but it can temporarily halt the itchiness from vibrations.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to itchiness after using a massage gun. But by trying out some of these solutions and seeing what works for you, you can hopefully turn your massage gun experience into a smooth and comfortable one.


Massage Guns That Could Be More Suitable For Itchy Skin


Urikar Pro 2 Handle Turned To The Back
Urikar Pro 2

Urikar Pro 2

Looking for a massage gun that’s easy on your itchy skin? Look no further than the Urikar Pro 2!

This slow-revving device has a longer stroke and only revs between 1,000 to 2,000 rpm, making it a great choice for sensitive skin users.

To top it off, it has a heated attachment to help soothe your sensitive skin.

The gun has 5 other attachments, including an air-cushioned head and a foamy ball, which can work well for the problem.

And the best part? It’s only $62.9 with the URIKAR02 code applied at the checkout.

So, if you’re looking for a gentle massage gun that won’t aggravate your itchy skin, the Urikar Pro 2 is definitely worth checking out.

READ MORE: Our hands-on Urikar Pro 2 Review.


a hand holding opove m3 pro massager t-shape full-size
Opove M3 Pro

Opove M3 Pro

The Opove M3 Pro could also be a great option. While it doesn’t have a heating function, it’s designed to be gentle and non-aggressive, with a stroke length of 12mm and 1,300 – 2,600 percussions.

This is lower percussion per minute than most other massage guns on the market, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin. Plus, when used on the first speed, it should feel gentle enough for you to enjoy.

Another great feature of the Opove M3 Pro is its high-quality attachments. The soft cushioned head is especially noteworthy, as it’s one of the best we’ve seen. This will help to ensure that your skin doesn’t get further irritated by the massage gun.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Opove M3 Pro, it’s available for $119 on their website.

Overall, this is a great option for anyone looking for a gentle massage gun on their skin.

READ MORE: Our hands-on Opove M3 Pro Review.


a hand holding a D shape Massage Gun
Bob and Brad D6 Pro

Bob and Brad D6 Pro

The Bob and Brad D6 Pro is an advanced device with a 16mm stroke length, which makes it more percussive than vibrational—a setup that might work well for those with itchy skin (although we are not sure).

It ranges from 1,450 to 2,450 rpm, just like the powerful Theraguns. However, we recommend starting with low speeds if you have sensitive skin.

The attachments are excellent, and we suggest trying out the foamy dampener head or the air-cushioned one, both of which are soft and gentle.

While we’re not entirely convinced that this is the best pick for itchy skin, it’s a solid option for those looking for an advanced massage gun.

The price is $249.99, so it might be pricier than other options. But it could be worth the investment if you’re looking for a high-quality device.

And here is how you can grab it for less:

First, tick the coupon box on Amazon and then use our exclusive MGAD6PRO code at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount. The price should be below $225 – an excellent value. Head over to Amazon to make your purchase.

READ MORE: Our hands-on Bob and Brad D6 Pro Review.


Itchy After Massage with Theragun? Here’s What to Know

Firstly, you are not alone. People have reported feeling itchy after using Theraguns. Here’s what we recommend.


Try the Theragun Mini as your device of choice. Its 12mm stroke length matches the Urikar Pro 2 and Opove M3 Pro 2.

It’s also the least aggressive of all the Theraguns, making it a good choice for people and athletes with itchy skin.

Plus, it’s compatible with all Theragun attachments, so you can choose a dampener head or even a SuperSoft attachment to make the experience even gentler.

The Theragun Mini is also an excellent choice for its portability. It’s light, small, and quiet, making it easy to use on the go. With its great quality, you can be sure you’re getting a reliable and effective one that can be used as a Tennis elbow massager.

Read More: Our dedicated Theragun Mini review.


We also recommend trying out the TheraOne Soothe CBD​5​ massage oil we mentioned earlier. Its high-potency, USDA-certified organic CBD formula is designed to ease tension and support stress relief. With all-natural essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and golden jojoba, it’s a great option for soothing your skin and your mind.

So pair the Theragun Mini with some TheraOne CBD massage oil for a relaxing and gentle massage experience. Say goodbye to itchy skin and hello to blissful relaxation!


Summary

We have reached the end of our article. If you experience itchiness after using a massage gun, there are several solutions you can try. Let’s summarize them:

  • Consider using a massage lotion or TheraOne Soothe CBD massage oil to ease tension and support stress relief.
  • Consulting with your physical therapist for other product recommendations may also be helpful.
  • When it comes to massage guns, choosing a device with a longer stroke length and slower revving speeds, like the Urikar Pro 2 or Opove M3 Pro, may be more suitable for those with sensitive skin.
  • Finally, the Theragun Mini is also a good option due to its low aggression and compatibility with all Theragun attachments. Remember to pay attention to attachments and consider using softer, hypoallergenic foam or air-filled rubber heads for gentle treatment. 

We cannot guarantee that all solutions given here will work the magic, but it’s worth a shot.

Let us know what worked best for you! Or perhaps you have your own magical solution for itchy after massage gun?


References
  1. 1.
    Vibratory urticaria – About the Disease. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/9806/vibratory-urticaria
  2. 2.
    Birimoglu Okuyan C, Bilgili N. Effect of abdominal massage on constipation and quality of life in older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Published online December 2019:102219. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102219
  3. 3.
    Star R. Nitric oxide. Am J Med Sci. 1993;306(5):348-358. doi:10.1097/00000441-199311000-00015
  4. 4.
    Thiele J, Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage S. Vitamin E in human skin: organ-specific physiology and considerations for its use in dermatology. Mol Aspects Med. 2007;28(5-6):646-667. doi:10.1016/j.mam.2007.06.001
  5. 5.
    5 things to know to find the right CBD product for you. Therabody.com. https://www.therabody.com/us/en-us/cbd-101/

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Post Update History

Here's a quick rundown of all the tweaks and edits we've made to this article to keep it accurate and up-to-date!

Current version.

April 20, 2023 Fact checked done by Dr. Alex Stone, DPT, CSCS.

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Greg Szostak

greg massagegunadvice com
Greg Szostak

Hey, I'm Greg, co-founder of MassageGunAdvice.com, with three years of experience in testing over 50 different massage guns. As an avid marathon runner interested in sports tech, I ensure our product reviews are accurate. My responsibility is to verify device specifications and maintain review consistency, simplifying product comparisons for our readers. With a web and graphic design background, I snap the photos and videos you see and keep our site looking sharp.

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