Emotional Causes of Skin Rashes & Unexplained Eye Pain

Last Updated on July 25, 2020

After having written the causes of skin rashes from the health perspective, few months ago I started to experience a bout of sudden skin rashes outbreak. I suspected there is an emotional issue behind it since I also happened to undergo a period of great uncertainty.  The moment I had the issue solved, the rashes disappeared accordingly with no medication or health intervention.

If you are facing issue of unexplained skin rashes with no notable changes, it is important to consult a doctor. However if any serious ailment has been ruled out, then you may need to examine if there are areas in your life – the fact that it had not been properly dealt with that could be triggering these issues.

I would like to share my experience hoping if you are developing sudden skin rashes without any possible explanation (ie no allergens, neither the doctor could find anything wrong), maybe you can reflect if you happened to go through a difficult patch. This is the mind body connection that I often write about in this blog.

Right about March this year, no long after my mom got hospitalized due to acute hepatitis, I was already not at my top mental form. The work pressure that had been building up since the year before (when a helpful colleague was transferred out and there had been no replacement) made things very difficult.

After my mom was discharged, she did not look like her normal self. She was yellow with jaundice with her abdomen and legs swelling up with fluid buildup. I had someone over to help with the house cleaning, cooking and to keep my mom company. Yet I find myself rushing and having to worry about thousand little items and having to buy food and provide for the home.

I cleared my room for the helper to stay while I slept next to my mom- just to watch after her. Not long later, I noticed that my right side, which is closest to my mom started developing skin rashes. I had the rashes appearing around my right elbow and right knee. The left side also had some rashes but it was not severe.

I was the only person in the house who had the rashes – my mom did not have any issue so it could not be bedsheet or bed bugs (I don’t think we have any bed bugs).

When my mom had a fall  on the morning in April 2017, I made the decision then and then to tender after seeing fear in her eyes as she asked me where I am going and I told her I needed to go to work (we had help at home but she was in pain and afraid).

Emotional causes of Rashes

The book, Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro provided a good insight on the possible causes of skin rashes:

“A rash is an irritation at the very edge where you and the world meet, so it is connected to communication issues, times when you feel unprotected or overly sensitive. It can be caused by an allergic reaction to food or a chemical substance, or an overreaction to something or someone; or it implies you are feeling embarrassed or ashamed by something you have done.

Body mind dialogue: Rashes

  • Is there something inside that is desperate to come out?

  • Or are you being too reactive?

  • Are you jumping into something too quickly and then regretting it?

  • Or are you feeling allergic or very sensitive to someone or something?

I highly recommend the book above as a guide for you to refer to if you ever suspect there would be more to the physical symptom of any health issue.

After I resigned, I served notice for about more than 3 weeks (as I have annual leave to deduct). Of course it was not easy to give up job security- after all, I am moving towards a path with a lot of uncertainties but I felt it was something I had to do so that I will not regret later. A close friend of my mom (also a former nurse) who have been volunteering at hospice told me that my mom is displaying end stage liver failure and my mom would not have long time to live.

Even though with the help in my home cooking dishes and keeping my mom company that seemed to made her condition improve a little, I still did not want to take the chance of what if it is true. I had to work till quite late and in a job that is highly stressed hence I do not think I can manage both sides. I do not want to live my life in regret later because when I thought about it, I seldom got to spend a lot of time with my mom. When I was young, she had to work in shifts as a nurse and later when I came out to work, I had always worked late.

The rashes continue to appear on the side closest to my mom. No matter what I apply from the creams given by doctors, it did not help. It gets itchy especially at night when I needed to sleep next to her.

In the mind-body perspective, for a woman, the issue on the left side corresponds to a feminine/female related issue and the right side is related to masculine/male issue. It is the opposite for a man (for a man, left represents masculine and right is feminine). However, I believe it can also change related to the side that are closest the the affected person.

Also the location of the rashes… the elbows represent movement, the knees represent support- hence when we are feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, these areas may be affected.

Towards the end of my notice, I also started to develop eye pain, the kind of pressure pain on my right eye.  It was even reddish as if I was having conjunctivitis.

Perhaps I was afraid to face the uncertain future or to see what I did not want to see.

After I finished serving my notice, I actually went to have my eye checked with the eye specialist (my mom had glaucoma years ago hence I would get myself checked from time to time). The ophthalmologist (eye specialist) could not find anything wrong with my eyes, except it was a little dry. I had to pay a few hundred bucks for the treatment which hurts my pocket. However I would rather be safe than sorry.

The strange thing is after being told there was nothing wrong with my eyes, I seemed to feel relieved and the symptom which had been bugging me close to 2 weeks just disappeared few days later.

As I started staying at home and taking care of my mom, I started to establish some timetable and sequence in doing work to manage my time. Whoever that said that people staying at home doing housework have a lot of time must certainly have not tried for themselves. On most days, I could only wrap up work past 8pm (doing the washing up, sweeping and mopping after dinner).

My previous job had made me develop the skills of prioritizing (I had to or I would definitely collapse in exhaustion at the non stop emails, phone ringing off  the hook and people keep coming to my place asking for help) and planning. I still like spontaneity so I tend to mentally plan the day’s activities on the day itself (including what to cook or if I wish to buy from outside).

Being a career woman all my life (with the occasional home decluttering and cleaning projects), I also did not think I could transition from working to cooking/cleaning/taking care of my mom’s needs. I had always been terrible at cooking. However, to my surprise, I adjusted easily into the role and I could pick up cooking.

I had earlier felt overwhelmed, unprotected and afraid of the uncertainties that were suddenly pushed in my life. I also had a lot of fear as to what could happen to my mom but I had to keep it to myself as it was not something that I could openly discuss with her. I need to be there to give her a lot of emotional support but do not be negative or sad with her. It could be amidst all these that my rashes developed.

A few weeks into the quitting, my mom started to show she was happy I had resigned and that brought a lot of relief in my heart. Also, I found that the fears I had about quitting, such as not able to cover for my expenses were not as bad as I think.

As I sorted out my uncertainties and adjusted to my new mode of life, the rashes which had plagued me for months started to fade and healed by itself with no occurrence.

Other than emotional issue, I had no way of able to explain this occurrence.




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