The Spiritual Meaning of Eczema

The Spiritual Meaning of Eczema


This frustrating skin condition may have much to teach us about boundaries, anger, and irritation. Explore the spiritual meaning of eczema.

Eczema is a common chronic condition that can show up anywhere on the skin at any time. It’s generally noncontagious and nonlife threatening, but it can be extremely irritating, distracting, and itchy. It can go into remission for years at a time only to flare up at seemingly random times. See your doctor or health practitioner if you are concerned about your eczema and how to treat it.

But sometimes our bodies are communicating something to us through our symptoms. Learning about this communication could give us a sense of how to care for these conditions and help guide us on our life path, even if the issues themselves don’t resolve. So, let’s consider the spiritual meaning of eczema and see if we can understand a bit more about what the body might be trying to tell us.

Irritation and Anger

Ultimately, eczema is irritating. It is inflammatory, itchy, and sometimes red. It can be distracting and insistent. These are “yang” symptoms, which means they are related to energies of activity, action, movement, heat, and fire. Anger is the most common yang emotion, and sometimes the body will express irritation physically when it can’t express it emotionally.

Consider the following questions:

  • Are you irritated with something or someone in your life?

  • Is there something bugging you that you haven’t been able to admit to yourself?

  • Are you connected to your anger right now?

  • If your anger could speak for itself, what would it say?

  • If there is an irritant in your life, can you remove it or negotiate with it in some way to make it more manageable for you?

An Imbalance in Your “Barrier”

The skin represents the body’s barrier, the mediator between the inner self and the outer world. When there are issues with the skin barrier (like eczema), we want to consider boundaries, as well as any discrepancies between our inner and outer realities.

Consider the following questions:

  • Are you aware of your physical, energetic, or emotional boundaries?

  • Are these boundaries being seen and respected?

  • Is there something “getting under your skin”?

  • Are you being honest and authentic with other people? Does what you feel on the inside match what you express on the outside?

  • Are you witnessing a discrepancy between other people’s inner truths and their outer expressions?

  • What is your relationship with beauty, looks, and presentation?

  • Is outer representation more important than inner feeling for yourself, for your environment, or within your family system?

  • Is there a way that you feel you need to be protected right now?


Eczema has a relationship with allergies and food sensitivities, but it’s a somewhat mysterious link. People with eczema are more likely to have these issues, but it’s not universal. Allergies represent an overreaction of the immune system to things like food and environmental factors that are usually safe. As the skin barrier protects the inside from the outside, the immune system protects the organism from internal threats.

If you know what you’re allergic to, consider what these foods or substances may represent for you. For example:

  • Seasonal allergies represent a reaction to change and shifting seasons. Spring allergies are a reaction to growth, potential, and the outside world. Autumn allergies are a reaction to letting go, the symbol of death, and to turning inwards.

  • Food allergies represent a reaction or resistance to nourishment, community, and relationship with others. Certain foods may hold special symbolism. For example, I used to be allergic to apples despite growing up part-time in an apple orchard. I had some family stuff to work out, and now that I’ve done the work, I no longer react badly to apples!

  • Digestive problems often relate to sexual issues and to unwanted energy entering the body.

  • Environmental allergies, such as an allergy to laundry detergent, can represent a heightened sensitivity, like sensory issues, psychic abilities, or powerful empathy, that needs care. It could also indicate there’s something energetically or emotionally irritating in the home environment or wherever the allergen is usually located.

Body Placement

From a spiritual perspective, the placement of eczema on the body is no accident. Consider the function of the affected body part and you may get some more information about what the eczema is trying to tell you:

  • Eyes/ears: Issues with seeing, hearing, understanding and being heard, seen, or understood.

  • Mouth and face: Issues with speaking, expressing, and being seen and witnessed.

  • Chest: Issues with the emotional heart like grief, loss, and vulnerability.

  • Arms and hands: Issues with “doing,” expressing, and working or not working.

  • Stomach: Consider digestion, both literally and in terms of digesting information/emotions, and vulnerability in general.

  • Back: Consider what’s in the past, what you’re not looking at or dealing with, or what you’ve tried to “put behind you.”

  • Genital/hip areas: Consider what’s private or secret, what’s unspoken, and any sexual issues.

  • Legs and feet: Consider where you are going—does one part of you want to stay and the other wants to leave? Also look at issues of home, safety, and feeling grounded.

  • Right vs. left half of the body: Your right side is yang, about doing, acting, moving, and what is seen in the world, while the left half is yin, which relates to emotion, intuition, and sometimes ancestral/intergenerational issues.

Once you get a sense of what your eczema might be trying to tell you, consider focusing on how to support what comes up in those places while you are caring for the symptom in any physical ways that work for you—creams and moisturizers, for example, can help support the skin barrier. As you address any spiritual or energetic issues within your inner and outer system, you may find your body is less reactive.

Explore more about the meaning of your symptoms.

The Spiritual Meaning of Eczema

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