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How To Treat Clients With Nut Allergies

September 04, 2016 2 min read

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A bottle of oil stands on a wooden table surrounded by nuts of different sizes
According to Allergy UK, being allergic to nuts is the most common allergy in the UK. In 2012 it was found that people suffering from an allergy to peanuts had doubled in the preceding five years, and that nut allergies now affect a significant proportion of both the child and adult population.
So it’s highly likely that at some point in your practice, you will have clients who are allergic to nuts. 
And it’s up to you to make sure that nothing in your treatment space triggers that allergy.
For some people, the allergy will not be so severe that having a nut product touch their skin will set them off, but it’s far better to be safe than sorry in this case. 
Most therapists have a questionnaire that they will have new customers fill out before a treatment. Ideally, this would happen before the customer arrives for the treatment, to allow you time to prepare for something like a nut allergy.
And if you don’t ask about allergies on your questionnaire, it’s time to update it! 
So - how do you prepare if a client tells you they have a nut allergy?
Firstly, source a different kind of oil to use during your treatment. Grapeseed oil is a popular alternative, but since some people with severe nut allergies are also sensitive to seeds, an unscented, blended oil is going to be your best option. 
The Melrose Unscented Massage Oil is ideal for treating clients with allergies, or even if they just have sensitive skin (or sense of smell!). This is a very mild blend that is perfect for every skin type.
Secondly, before your client arrives, remove your nut-based oils from the treatment space, and wipe down your surfaces. Since most of us use almond-based oils for treatments, this means storing away the usual containers and dispensers.
Once you’ve sorted out your replacement oil and cleared out your treatment area, you should be ready to see the client.
 
Do a patch test on a small area of skin - say, their hand - wait a couple of minutes, and then remind them that if anything is starting to set them off, they should let you know straight away.
How common is it for you to have a client present with a nut allergy? Have you ever had someone have a reaction during a treatment?
 
Share your stories on our Facebook page, and let us know how you manage allergies in your practice!

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