A woman holds a magnifying glass up to her skin with a question mark in the middle.

Can Emotions Manifest On Skin?

Sometimes I feel like my skin rashes are a manifestation of all the emotions I've never allowed myself to express in my entire life. Growing up in a war-torn country and moving across the world as a refugee is a pretty huge trauma. Getting accustomed to a whole new culture and learning a new language was a lot for a kid my age. It is, of course, all on top of the "normal" growing pains we all go through in life.

My trauma and eczema

I don't believe it's a coincidence that my first really bad rash that needed a doctor's assistance appeared the same year I moved to the US, at ten years old. That also happened to be the first time I was prescribed topical steroids. It ultimately led to me developing topical steroid addiction (TSA) and going through topical steroid withdrawal.

Growing up in such a chaotic environment from ages 2-6, when the brain is most malleable, was a huge trauma for me. I was not able to or allowed to express myself and had no childhood. I just had to be quiet and survive.

Learning to deal with emotions

As I grew older, emotions stayed a foreign concept to me, and only recently, I started to really work on my emotions and allow myself to feel and express them.

There's been a pattern in my life of one traumatic event after another. Unfortunately, instead of being taught how to express emotions in a healthy manner, I learned to suppress them. I believe, in turn, they started to come out on my skin and in my body as other health issues instead. My body started to express all of it, and although I have become much more aware of this now, it still happens to this day.

The road to emotional freedom

Thankfully, through CBT therapy, hypnotherapy, life coaching, and meditation, I have finally been able to learn how to express myself in healthier ways.  Most of us grow up in households (and even just our society in general) that tells us crying is weak, anger is "bad," etc. But the truth is, no emotion is "good" or "bad." The truth is, emotions themselves are neutral. They are just energy in motion we are experiencing. Only when we allow ourselves to really feel and experience any said emotion can it pass through us freely. On the contrary, if it doesn't pass through us, it can be stored in the body and create "dis-ease."

It continues to be a daily practice for me, and I still have a long way to go. I also have to acknowledge I've come a long way in that sense, though. I am sure it will continue to be a practice as long as I walk this earth. After all, learning and healing never truly end. They are not a destination but a journey. As opposed to in the past, though, I now welcome it all with open arms.  Whether it's happiness or sadness, anger or fear, I embrace the journey, as it is all a part of life and part of the yin and yang aspects that make up this world.

Embracing the journey

Now, instead of suppressing everything and only showing it on my skin, I do my best to welcome it all - to feel every feeling with every ounce of my being. It has caused a huge breakthrough in my healing journey and continues to. I truly believe there's a huge psychological and emotional component to healing. Learning to rewire those subconscious patterns and survival mechanisms we've had since childhood can be a huge catalyst for healing.

There is no reason it needs to manifest on our skin when we allow ourselves to express the emotions in other, healthier ways. Once we can do that, I truly believe our skin stops being so inflamed and "angry." It stops "screaming" at us to get our attention.

So I try to ask my skin and myself daily - "What are you trying to show me?" Once you put this into practice, if you haven't already, you'd be surprised at the answers you get. Speak to your body, and it will tell you what you need to know.

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