What Your Skin is Telling You

August 28, 2016

They say that the eyes are “windows to the soul,” but there’s another part of the body that’s just as important, that has the power to reflect what’s happening inside your body. We’re talking about the skin, the largest organ of the human body, the shield that protects us from the outside world. It is intimately linked to the nervous system and to the functioning of the rest of our organs.

The skin is the external boundary that connects us to the environment. It also reveals what’s happening in all of our internal organs. It displays physical signs that provide information for the diagnosis of physical and psychological illnesses.

“The skin is not just an aesthetic decoration: it’s also a reflection of the state of our health, of what’s happening inside our bodies.”

– Aurora Guerra – Head of Dermatology, University Hospital 12 October (Madrid)

The skin as an organ of expression

The skin is the main route of expression for many illnesses. Reactions like excessive sweat, paleness, and reddening, among many others, reveal anxiety, stress, fear, and tension.

From a psychosomatic point of view, the epidermis turns opaque in situations of sadness or disappointment. Studies have shown that 80% of skin conditions have a psychological origin. Beyond their physical or chemical causes, dermatologists relate skin lesions to a lack of emotional externalization.

woman behind a branch

Below we point out some psychological factors related to the cutaneous expression of the following illnesses:

  • Urticaria, or hives, is related to depression. This cutaneous lesion is observed as the emotional externalization of abandonment and irritation.
  • Psoriasis is a manifestation of disappointment. In this condition, the epidermis starts to peel gradually, expressing pain and becoming covered in shield-like scales.
  • Adult acne indicates fatigue and stress.
  • Pruritus, or extreme itchiness, reveals anxiety and anguish.
  • Alopecia, in many cases, is a response to mourning or a serious emotional loss.

The appearance of the skin is often a window to our physical and emotional health.

An organ that reflects emotions

The skin also communicates with us through symptoms, which are precursors to illness. The symptoms tell you that something is happening inside your body, both through the nature of the symptom and the changes involved. The skin functions as a protective shield against the world that we’re continuously exposed to. It’s our alert system.

“Behind the symptoms is the illness.”

-Manuel Barroso-

From an emotional point of view, the skin is related to one’s external evaluation of oneself. It represents the way human beings see themselves. It helps to establish contact with other people, but it can also be a way to isolate oneself. For example, we’ve all been paralyzed or affected by the characteristic redness of embarrassment plenty of times.

colorful face

The skin evaluates our interactions with the environment and with other people, instantly reflecting our emotions. In situations of anger, it turns red; in situations of distress, it turns pale; and in situations of fear, excess sweat is produced.

The protective function of the skin is pretty obvious, but its sensitive qualities are just as important. It’s like a suit, made to fit our measurements, that reflects how we feel inside in every moment.

“Despite living inside your body for so many years, when something goes wrong it can feel as if you are living inside a complete stranger.”

-Deb Shapiro-

Keeping a positive attitude towards life, learning to reduce anxiety, and eliminating excess stress are essential strategies for improving your skin’s health. Listening to your emotions, recognizing them instead of denying them, and learning to manage them, can improve your well-being and has a direct influence on the appearance of your skin.

 

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