During my cosmetic training and time at Pai, I learned a lot of strange and wonderful facts about the skin. The "skin memory" must be up there as one of the more unusual and unexpected of them.
Mnemoderma, as it is officially called, is a prolonged state of hypersensitivity in a specific area of the skin long after an initial reaction has disappeared.
Essentially, the skin “remembers” past suffering and physically re-enacts it later in life.
My research on this topic was triggered by a pub conversation with a friend.
She told me the story of an ex-soldier stationed in the desert. Long after returning home, he inexplicably developed painful, cracked skin between his toes at the same time each year.
A dermatologist told him that this phenomenon was actually his skin, reminiscent of the feeling of sand in his army boots that caused abrasion between the toes.
As is so often the case with rare and unpredictable diseases, mnemoderma is usually associated with skin reactions that are triggered by trauma or extreme experiences.
Because of its psychological roots, there are more anecdotes than scientific evidence to support the existence of skin memory.
This is another example of the connection of the skin with the mind. As I blogged last month, the effects of stress happen regularly on the surface of the skin. Therefore, it makes sense that trauma triggers a similar process.
As skin care specialists, we try to know everything about the largest organ in the body, but ultimately there is always something else to learn.
Maybe that's what makes the job so interesting!
Sarah's blog on organic skin care – https://blog.paiskincare.com
Sarah is the founder of Pai Skincare, an organic skin care line for sensitive skin.