Dermatological Pathologies

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In Chapter 3 of Dr. Johnson’s class, I learned about Dermatological Pathologies. The Integumentary system is a big part of this chapter and is an essential system for massage therapists to study and understand. The skin presents the first opportunity for the massage therapist to assess a client. Many disorders, whether or not they are dermatological, manifest themselves on the skin. Other disorders include symptoms that show on the skin. Additionally, the skin is the first body structure contracted directly during massage. The skin (integument) and its accessory structures make up the integumentary system. The accessory structures include hair, nails, various glands, muscles, and nerves. The Skin is divided into two distinct regions: the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis, the most superficial layer, contains melanocytes (which contribute to the skin color), nails, and pores to allow passage for hair and specialized glands. The dermis is located beneath the epidermis and contains numerous blood vessels and many sensory nerve receptors. It also has pores for hair follicles and associated oil (sebaceous) glands, sweat (sudoriferous) glands, and cerumen or ear wax (ceruminous) glands. Mammary glands, which are modified sudoriferous glands, are often regarded as part of the integumentary system. The skin acts a protector. It protects by acting as a physical barrier, biological barrier, and chemical barrier. A massage therapist should do a therapeutic assessment of the skin as check the skin color, skin condition & skin temperature. General manifestations of dermatological diseases include: Lesions or eruptions, Lumps, nodules, or masses, pain, inflammation, persistent itching, areas of redness, cyanosis, or jaundice, cold or overly warm skin, and signs of edema or dehydration, unhealed wounds, excessive bruising, hives or rashes of unknown origin, Swollen lymph nodes, Any suspicious-looking moles, and any suspicious-looking lesions. Most skin pathologies are treated as a local contraindication; do not apply massage on the area of question. For clients with normal pigmentation, massage can be performed. For clients with abnormal pigmentation, massage may be performed as long as the pigmentation is not cancerous.

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