One’s skin is the key junction and boundary between self and not self. This includes the metaphorical as well as the physical. Exploring our collective metaphors about skin can
help us understand unconscious ways we think about and treat our skin.
We say that people who have become immune to rejection are “thick-skinned.” When we want to remind ourselves about the importance of a good personality, we say beauty is
only “skin-deep.” When a person causes us to feel annoyance or affection, we say “they’ve gotten under my skin.”
When someone grows beyond old limitations, they are like a snake shedding its old
skin. The skin is in a constant process of renewing itself. Wherever we go, we literally leave part of ourself as the surface skin cells die.
As a cultural boundary, the color of one’s skin has enabled slavery, racism, and discrimination. For thousands of years, people have tattooed and pierced the skin to send cultural, political, emotional, and spiritual messages to the world, or to mark important touchstones or events in life.
The nine pounds of skin and nerves on the body’s surface occupy a significant space in the brain where we feel pleasure, pain, pressure, itching, and other subtle sensations that make up the landscape of our perception of being
To your health,
Dr. Alan M. Dattner
New York, New York
As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.