Thin Skin versus Thick Skin, The 101 for Massage Therapists, Spa & Salon Service Providers

Thin Skin versus Thick Skin, The 101 for Massage Therapists, Spa & Salon Service Providers

By: Selena Belisle, Owner/Instructor CE Institute LLC, Miami FL

Knowing where skin is thinner or thicker in the body may help you determine a better service for your client.  For example, a hot stone during hot stone massage will be more tolerable over the thicker skin areas of the body.  And services such as cupping massage, body scrubs or waxing may require more attention in the thinner skin areas of the body, because the skin is thin and could easily rip or tear with too much force, etc.

Thin Skin:  Above is a diagram of thin skin in the axilla/underarm region.  Here, you can see that the outer layer of the epidermis (the stratum corneum) is much thinner than in the previous picture of thicker skin. 

You can also see there is no stratum lucidum, but there are apocrine glands (labeled #8 on the pictured diagram above) which can produce a scent or odor.  Most apocrine glands are found in the armpits, groin, and breast area.

Thick Skin:  Below is a diagram of the skin of the human palm.  Skin is regularly thicker on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.  This thick skin on the soles of the feet are what can lead to excessive dead skin and calluses. 

In this image, you can also see the stratum lucidum layer of the epidermis (labeled letter B on the pictured diagram below).  This is an additional translucent layer of skin of the epidermis that is found in few select places such as the palms of hands and soles of the feet.

To learn more, please register for training at

#massage #massagetherapy #massageprecautions #massagecontraindications


Author Selena Belisle is the Founder of CE Institute LLC in Miami FL.  She is a retired professional athlete and has been practicing massage therapy for over 30 years.  Selena is an approved CE Provider with NCBTMB & the Florida Board of Massage.  She now teaches full time for the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Industries. You can learn more about Selena’s training and CE classes at



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