Skin Memory

Throughout my cosmetic training and time at Pai, I have learnt many weird and wonderful facts about the skin. ‘Skin memory’ has to be up there as one of the more unusual and unexpected of them.

Mnemodermia, as it is officially known, is a prolonged state of hypersensitivity in a particular area of skin long after an initial reaction has disappeared.

In essence, the skin “remembers” past sufferings and physically replays them later on in life.

My research into the subject was sparked by a pub conversation with a friend.

She told me the story of an ex-soldier who had been stationed in the desert. Long after returning home, he would inexplicably develop sore, chapped skin between his toes at the same time every year.

A dermatologist told him that this phenomenon was actually his skin remembering the feeling of the sand in his army boots causing an abrasion between the toes.

As is often the case with rare and unpredictable conditions, mnemodermia is usually associated with skin reactions triggered by trauma or extreme experiences.

Because of its psychological roots, there is more anecdotal than scientific evidence to prove skin memory’s existence.

This is another example of the skin’s link with the mind. As I blogged last month, the effects of stress regularly play out on our skin’s surface, so it makes sense that trauma would instigate a similar process.

As skin care specialists we try to know everything we can about the body’s largest organ, but ultimately there is always something else to learn.

Perhaps that’s what makes the job so interesting!

Sarah’s Organic Skin Care Blog –

Sarah is the founder of Pai Skincare, an organic skin care line for sensitive skin.

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