Problematic skin disorders come in so many varieties and can have both physical and deeply-felt emotional effects on their victims. Most of these skin problems are idiopathic, meaning that medical science has not found a verifiable universal physical cause. This is no surprise, since the majority of chronic and therapy-defiant skin conditions do not come from a physical or environmental source, but instead from a process that originates deep inside the subconscious mind. Unfortunately, this possibility is rarely considered by affected sufferers, who will spend great amounts of time and money pursuing treatment, while simple recognition of the stress-origin of the condition might be far more effective in resolving it.
This guide provides patients with a primer to the mindbody process and its role in causing a diversity of painful and unaesthetic skin problems.
Although many of these skin affecting conditions do have physical trigger mechanisms, the actual causation may be a psychological process. In these instances, the patient’s subconscious mind has likely created a nocebo expectation for painful symptoms to occur when a particular situation or event occurs. For example, some people expect to get a rash from pet hair. The pet hair itself is not causing the skin to become irritated. Instead, it is the patient’s expectation of a reaction that causes the breakout.
This type of psychosomatic conditioning has been demonstrated over and over in research science. It is the exact same reaction that causes the expectation of pain from a given movement or position in the variety of psychological back pain conditions which have grown to epidemic proportions today.
Why the mind will choose some psychogenic expressions over others is still the subject of much research. Factors may include patient personality type, particular sensitivities to physical and emotional effects and success of former expressions.
There are countless common skin conditions that can be directly caused or contributed to by conscious stressors or repressed subconscious issues. Some of the most common psychogenic skin problems include:
Rashes can form temporarily or chronically on any region of the body. Dr. Sarno cites an interesting example of a man who experienced a long-lasting and severe rash only under his wedding ring.
Adult acne is definitely a stress-induced problem experienced by many adults. It seems the perfectionist and self-critical personality traits are especially strong in people with adult acne problems.
Hives are often associated with food reactions, but are usually only created because of a programmed response to suspected allergens.
Skin problems can be both a major health concern, as well as detriment to one’s self image. Bad skin can create poor self esteem and a lack of confidence. This is especially true if the affected area is often exposed, such as the face or hands.
Some chronic or recurrent skin problems can be eliminated with the same knowledge therapy techniques used to combat psychological back pain. Many patients have reported amelioration of all skin symptoms along with the elimination of their psychogenic dorsalgia symptoms. There is really nothing to lose by trying the knowledge therapy path before getting involved with any medical treatment for common problematic skin conditions. Remember, there are no risks and no costs, which is very different from the expensive professional and self-help therapies marketed for most skin disorders.