Acne isn’t contagious and it’s rarely painful, but it can be incredibly distressing, especially when it just won’t go away. And while acne is a common problem for teenagers, many adults suffer from it too.
A good dermatologist can help find a treatment or medication to address this issue, but it may be worth asking: what is the spiritual meaning of acne?
The Skin as a Boundary
Acne is fundamentally a problem with the skin, and the skin represents the boundary between your inner self and the world outside of you. When acne is flaring, you may feel that something inside you is unsightly or inappropriate for your world. Big feelings like grief or anger may feel like emotions you’re trying not to let seep out—so your skin is doing it for you. Sometimes we get flares of acne (especially facial acne) when we need to retreat, to not be seen for a while, to be alone so that we can be with our own feelings.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you are having an acne flare right now to help decipher the spiritual meaning of acne:
Am I aware of the feelings that are going on for me right now?
Do I feel I can fully express my feelings and that I will be accepted?
Is there something I’m trying to hold back from the world or the people around me?
Do I feel the need to retreat, to be alone, to not be looked at by anyone right now?
How Anger Affects Our Skin
The skin is sometimes called the second liver, as it does some of our detoxifying for us. Acne may be a symptom of the liver overworking. Energetically, this usually means there is some unprocessed anger hanging around.
Anger’s job is to protect the self, to ensure that we are getting our needs met and that our boundaries are being respected. When we don’t feel that we deserve to have our needs met or our boundaries respected (on whatever subconscious level), we can lose touch with anger. It’s when we’ve lost touch with how we feel that our bodies begin to speak out for us.
As you get closer to the spiritual meaning of your acne, here are some questions to use to check in with your anger and boundaries:
What is my relationship like to my anger? Can I feel it and acknowledge it easily?
How do I express my anger, if at all?
Am I clear on my needs and boundaries?
Are my needs mostly met, my boundaries mostly respected?
Do I feel I can clearly state my needs and boundaries when I need to?
The Spiritual Meaning of Inflammation
Acne is a form of inflammation, and inflammation can mean there is an imbalance of heat, or yang energy, in the body. Again, this can mean anger, which is a hot emotion, but it can also mean an overabundance of stress, frustration, resentment, or simply too much action. Cooling the system through practices like restorative or yin yoga, meditation, and other stress-relieving activities may help.
Inflammation also means that the system is heating up in response to a toxin. Toxins can be physical, but they can also be energetic. Here are some questions to check in with yourself about your energetic detoxification:
Is there someone or something in my life that feels toxic?
Do I have access to the emotion of disgust, which helps us stay away from toxic substances and people/situations?
Is there something that has entered my energetic field that has not left? This could be someone else’s energy or energy from a past experience that remains unprocessed.
Acne has many medical treatments and solutions, but these may be supported by discovering the spiritual meaning behind acne. Look at emotional or energetic detoxification and cooling, and check in with your boundaries and how you are protecting your own vulnerabilities. Listen to your skin. It’s trying to tell you something!
Wondering how else you can support your skin? Savor these 3 dessert smoothies for beautiful skin.