Beauty treatments can hide a mine field of potentially damaging problems to the unsuspecting client, and at the end of the day it’s the Beauty Therapist’s responsibility to protect the client by ensuring the treatment booked is suitable.

We use record cards in salon treatments for several reasons such as keeping clients’ address and phone details and record of past treatments. The most important reason for these record cards is the attachment of a medical questionnaire that they have filled in prior to any treatments commencing, no matter how small those treatments are.

This questionnaire should be re-visited whenever a client books a different treatment.

Here is a brief overview of some of the more common contraindications to treatments that you may come across on a weekly basis in a busy salon or spa.

This list could be in a book form as there are so many variations depending on products used or the client’s individual needs.


Referring to your college training and recognising skin infections is a required skill every beauty therapist must master. Treatment will not be allowed to continue if a skin infection or problematic condition is noticed in salon and your client should be asked to seek medical advice.


Care must be taken in performing any treatments which involve stimulation of the blood system, such as massage, unless the client is undergoing treatment for the high or low blood pressure.

There is also a possible “collapse” risk when the client is changed from a lowered position on the treatment couch to an elevated one. This can cause a drop or a raise in blood pressure and the client may feel dizzy or faint.


Some prescription drugs can react to different treatments. For example, some acne medication can make the skin on the face very sensitive so facials would not be suitable.


It’s so important to make sure before any form of beauty treatment that your client will not be likely to suffer an allergic reaction to the products used such as nut oils or some aromatherapy blends


For some clients having a back condition will mean they won’t be able to sit for long treatments such as manicures or lie flat on the treatment couch.

Also, it will be in your best interest not to attempt massaging their back as it could aggravate their condition, although if they have a doctor’s letter it may be allowed.


Care must be taken whenever your clients have been lying flat and returning to an upright position, this is because with vertigo conditions or other inner ear problems the potential risk of dizzy spells when standing is very high and the client could suffer a fall when getting up off the treatment couch.


Currently, palliative care Therapists are performing more and more treatments on clients who are going through treatment for cancer.

We must be very careful not to perform any therapy which may have a detrimental effect on the treatment they are already receiving.

For example massage can be a wonderful and relaxing treatment  for a cancer patient and can often be advised by their medical team BUT if the chemotherapy  treatment for their condition is still active in their body I.e. recently been administered, then any form of beauty treatment which affects the lymphatic and blood system, such as massage, could speed up the way the medication is absorbed or utilised in the tissues thus possibly (and it’s a very big possibly) affecting the treatments outcome….

Now this is still a very speculative and cautious approach but it’s always wise not to do any treatment before gaining written permission from the client’s oncologist.


Many Beauty salons offer treatments tailored to suit pregnant ladies using suitable products which will not enter the bloodstream (such as certain contraindicated aromatherapy oils).

Pregnant ladies can safely have most treatments available in salons but care must be taken if they have oedema of the limbs etc as this is a contraindication to massage.


This is a big no when it comes to most beauty treatments, especially waxing. Also, going on a sunbed the same day as a wax is also a major mistake allowed by many salons trying to keep their treatment columns full.

Basically, you are applying a heated wax onto the already “cooked” skin’s surface. This can easily remove a layer of epidermis and cause a scab to form which results in a deep pigmented scar

    Impetigo                                                             Sunburn

    Open wounds or cuts to the area                  Ringworm

    Blepharitis                                                          Diabetes

    Conjunctivitis                                                     Moles

    Eczema in the area                                            Very Sensitive Skin

    Psoriasis in the area                                          Cold Sores – Herpes Simplex

    Pregnancy                                                           Bruises in the area

    Epilepsy                                                               Within 24 hours of a sunbed

    Reaction to the tint test

    Recent scar tissue