Healing Skin Ailments
The skin, which includes the hair and nails, is one of the largest and most remarkable organs of the body. It is waterproof, washable, elastic, self-mending and tactile. It protects us against water loss and water intake, while allowing us to perspire. It defends us against infection and exposure to foreign substances and it regulates our temperature.
Through the skin we face the world and are known by it. The skin flushes with anger and shame, blushes with love or embarrassment, goes white with shock, breaks out in goose bumps in cold or anticipation or sweats with exertion or fear. Every emotion creates a response in the skin (particularly on the face) that can be electrically noted. It reflects what food we eat, how much sleep we have and alcohol / drugs we consume.
The skin is the outer most expression of our innermost being and through it, we relate and communicate with others. It represents our outer limitations and within it we are contained and held. It forms a boundary between us and the world, a meeting place of the inner and the outer world. Difficulties with the skin are therefore often connected to difficulties with communication, especially if that communication is threatening our boundaries in some way.
As we all know touching is the most basic thing that all of us need on a very deep level. We know that babies that are not touched enough they can die, while adults develop serious mental illnesses and trauma without human contact - as if they are shrivelling up inside a shell. Touching passes through those limitations and crossing our boundaries by reaching deeply into our feelings.
Touching is the most basic form of communication, transmitting love, tenderness, healing, security, confidence safety and passion.
Touching is a natural part of intimacy, but physical contact is not always pleasure-full. It can also trigger fear, for example: when we are beaten, or fear of some or other hurt, or feeling exposed, shameful and/or vulnerable. A fear of touching shows a deeper fear of sharing ourselves, perhaps due to previous touching that was abusive in some way. There may be feelings of being unclean or ugly, a sense of guilt or shame.
The face is the part of us that meets the world first and on which we are mostly judged. We as a human species spend an enormous amount of time and money on our faces to make them more socially acceptable, providing a smooth veneer to hide our feelings behind. Faces can be open or closed, relaxed or tense, trusting or suspicious, happy or sad. The face shows everything that is going on beneath the surface. The more we frown, the more the muscles will take on the frown look or furrowed look, the more we smile, the more the face will appear at ease.
Conflicting emotions, self-confidence, self-dislike, inappropriate passions, withheld feelings or anguish – all these are expressed on the face in the form of blemishes, rashes or other skin irritations. Very dry skin implies a withdrawal of emotion, keeping us back so as not to deal with communication and/or feeling. Oily skin implies excess of emotions, often passionate or angry ones that are not finding release. Each facial blemish is like an inner pain finding form.
Usually occurring in our adolescence and early twenties, acne represents an eruption of all conflicting and tormented feelings locked inside. At this time it is very hard to feel good about ourselves. Everything we do seem to be stupid and or wrong - there is little self-esteem and much self-dislike. Life appears unfair, as if we are being picked on personally, when in fact it is our inner torment that is causing us the pain.
The confusion involved in moving from childhood to adulthood is enormous. It is the time that we are discovering tentatively who we are as individuals, while powerfully strong sexual urges that have no means of expression are awakening. Fantasies abound, any touch can cause the hormones to leap with desire. Acne reflects the depth of emotion surging through the body and the longing for release finds expression for eruptions. This is the cry from within to stop attacking us, a plea for us to accept ourselves and find our inner beauty.
Issues of the skin
Acne rosacea, athletes foot, boils, bruises, burns, callouses and hard skin, and cuts are issues to do with the skin reflecting anger, shame, moving in a direct that is not right for us, not paying attention, playing with fire and of course most important of all, our boundaries.
Dermatitis is a term used to cover a wide range of skin irritations caused by stress, infections and allergies. An irritation implies that something is bothering us, causing the edges of our being to react. Skin problems are a way of keeping the world at a distance. Is someone or something affecting you or getting under your skin? Or are you feeling over exposed, vulnerable and over sensitive.
Eczema indicates an extreme sensitivity to the circumstances and the emotions around us. It limits physical contact as if creating a bubble that we can’t be touched in. Are there areas of contact and communication that are causing irritation? Is there a fear of intimacy? Are you locking yourself inside for fear of coming out? Are you being overly sensitive to someone or something?
Flaking or peeling skin
This implies that our boundaries are thin and insubstantial, easily giving way, indicating that we are easily influenced by others and have little sense of our own identity. It can also mean that we are like a snake shedding our skin, getting rid of the old ways of being so that the new can emerge, but we are unable to let go and are fearful of release. We need to peel away the old layers of thinking.
A rash implies that we are acting too hastily or that something is really bothering us. Are you taking more risks than you should? Are you jumping to conclusions before you hear the whole story? Is it someone who is making you feel hot and irritated? Have you done something that you are ashamed of or feel guilty about? Or now feel guilty? Or are you feeling particularly allergic to someone or something?
Itching is scratching our surface or scratching on the surface – either something inside is trying to get our attention because it wants to get out, or something / someone on the outside is beginning to irritate us and get under our skin. Itching makes us mad with frustration. What is trying to get out? Does something need to be voiced? Is someone really bugging you? The art or act of scratching is an attempt to get out or scratch out the offending cause. Is there something or someone you are trying to get rid of? Scratching may also represent repressed aggression. Do you really want to hit out at someone?
The sun does not cause skin cancer, as many adverts would have us believe. This is a fallacy and a good marketing hype - if it was so then we should get skin cancer from everything that we eat as it is all subject to the sun. The sun makes it grow and does not give it cancer! How come then do most of the world’s population living in the tropics not die from skin cancer? Of course protection from harmful burning is useful and a good idea. Melanoma implies that our boundaries are being penetrated. Have you been particularly affect by stress, emotional tension or inner conflict, leaving you unprotected and exposed? There may be issues of self dislike, lack of self care; complying with other people wishes and not heeding our own wishes or needs or deep rooted conflict over physical contact and touching.
Positive thinking on it’s own will not solve all of your problems, however it is one of a series of things that we all have the power to implement, which will get us on the path to leading the life we want.