This is often shown in dreams as the quality you display to others, or your awareness of someone else’s quality. This means things such as skin colour, condition of skin, whether rough or smooth, young, old, thick, thin, spots or scars, healthy or injured.

It is also your contact with the world. Through it you feel warmth or cold, wet or dry, and all the subtle interaction with other people and your environment. So to understand the dream consider what impression you have of the skin, then ask yourself how this connects with your self image, or your sense of your own quality. See Your Amazing Circle

The skin may also relate to what tactics we use to deal with others; our strength or vulnerability in feeling the impact of other people, their remarks and actions. It is our protection against the huge forces we deal with every day; for our skin deals with and destroys thousands of bacteria every day. You also may be sensitive to remarks which is known as being ‘thin skinned’, or if you are not  influenced that is called ‘having a thick skin’.

Skin is a window on your emotions also – so any disturbance can show in your dreams as spots, boils, pus or maggots erupting or other things. So what emotions – strong ones have you felt recently? It could make you feel uncertain of what people think of you, especially if you have met a new girl/boy friend.

Example: All I remember is seeing red bubbles appearing all over my skin and being scared and then one huge one bursting on my chest. R.

When it was pointed out about skin as a window on his emotions, R. replied – Well I have met a lot of new people recently and am often insecure about what I think they really think about me; also I have met a girl here but it is still early days. I have also been worried about work and think the change in location has taken me longer to adjust to than I thought it would.

A skin can also be a disguise, a cover, underneath which another you, or another person exists. In these cases the skin might suggest something you have taken on that is not really expressing your real feelings or potential. So the dream might show you pulling the skin off or even tearing it off. See Potential

Animal skin: The spontaneous level of yourself such as instincts, flight and fight, and so your animal wisdom and survival drives. If the animal is being skinned, See: skinned animal.

Rough skin: A surface impression. If this is a dream about yourself, it suggest either that you have been through difficult times and so are well worn with a rough exterior, or you feel that is how others see you.

Burnt skin: A hurt you have suffered in relationship with the outside world or people.

Maggots breaking through the skin: It shows a possibly unhealthy condition occurring in that body area. But remember dreams use the body to often represent something other than the organ or arm – see Body

Seeing through the skin: An insight into what is going on under the surface of your mind or body.

Shed skin: Like a snake, changing your old way of life, or shedding old protective attitudes. This might refer to outgrowing a stage of your life, like a spider or snake shedding its skin because it has outgrown the last one.. So a move from youth to adulthood might be shown as this in a dream. This usually leaves you feeling vulnerable for a while as you adjust to the change.

Spots, blemishes, moles: Feelings about personal failings or some sense of not being as good or acceptable as other people. Maybe a feeling that other people see you as unattractive or can see failings in you. Often links with shyness or difficulties about facing or being in the company of people. See Victim – Avoiding Being My Own 

Occasionally it could indicate that you have inner disturbances that need to be dealt with. See: Acting on your dream.

Something or Stuff on the skin: If this is a liquid or substance it could mean you have been in contact with something. As the skin absorbs all that is on it, there might be a suggestion you are taking something in that is either harmful or healing.

If it is a thing or a creature on your skin this shows you sensing an influence. What it is depends on the dream. See  Animals

Things escaping from under the skin: This usually refers to powerful emotions that you have contained for some time and an event or circumstances are now allowing to surface. This means you will be aware of them in some measure in waking.

Depending upon what it is that is escaping, it can also refer to a physical condition. For instance the following dream refers to a virus the dreamer has.

I have had the same dream as I fall asleep for several years. I have it nearly every night just once, sometimes, rarely, twice as I fall asleep. I dream that I find a dried piece of skin or scab somewhere on my body, usually my foot or my hand, though it has varied over the years. I begin to pick at the skin/scab and scratch it until it comes off. When it comes off it unleashes a flood of seed spiders that engulf me. Another variation is I find some odd black hairs growing out of my body and when I examine them more closely they are regular sized spiders crawling out of me and they begin to engulf me.

Idioms: beauty is only skin deep; by the skin of your teeth; get under my skin; jump out of your skin; more than one way to skin a cat; no skin off my nose; skin alive; thick skin;.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is the skin shown as protective – if so what against, and how well is it working?

Does my dream show the skin as an expression of who I am or the person is – if so what is the impression it is giving?

What qualities or racial type does the skin show – and what do I associate with that?

Try Being the Person or Thing and Techniques for Exploring your Dreams



-Allysa 2018-06-09 16:49:03

So I had a dream last night I had to pull something out of my nose as there was discomfort and once I did I pulled out like a huge piece of just like my flesh that was in my nostril and then I was just staring at it in my hand. I don’t really know what to think of it? Lol and there’s a lot of things online about stuff coming out of your nose but I couldn’t find an answer to this one.

    -Tony Crisp 2018-06-11 7:56:30

    Allysa – This is a difficult one because it is a part of you. And because all the images, people, animals, places we see in our dreams, are simply your own feelings, fears, hopes and wonder projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind as images, you are the best person to say what your dream indicate. So why not try using

    But the dream suggests you have been experiencing some discomfort, not necessarily in your nose, but in yourself.

    If you explored the discomfort by using the above link, you would find that something has got up your nose, meaning – ‘People who act like that really get up my nose’.

    So what of your own feelings irritate you? You pulled out your own flesh, showing it is a part of you.

-Tenielle metlin-rendle 2018-06-03 1:21:36

I had a dream that i was like shaving or rubbing hard on my body with this tool to try and remove my skin and in my dream it hurt. I was also poking this metal bracelet through my skin.

    -Tony Crisp 2018-06-04 9:34:23

    Tenielle – You have not given enough information for me to understand your dream. Why were you rubbing so hard and poking metal through your skin?

    Things to remember when writing to us with your dream:

    1. Write down anything that you think might have triggered the dream or links with it in some way.
    2. Write down the whole dream; do not leave out parts because you consider them not important.
    3. Please let us know your age and gender, and any information about your life, health or anything about you that might relate to your dream.
    4. Describe any emotions expressed or indicated in the dream.

-Kristen R. 2018-04-26 1:52:42

I had a dream last night that I had feathers inside of my skin on one of my shins, with the pointy end sticking out of my pores. The other shin had plants growing out of the pores. No matter how many I pulled out they just kept multiplying and pulling one caused many to come out.

-S 2018-01-11 16:46:25

I’m having trouble trying to understand a dream… well one part of this dream anyways.
I met up with a woman with a couple other people. (I didn’t recognize any of them personally)
This woman had green skin. Wore a hood and long dress with sleeves. I can’t recall the color. But we were walking through the streets of town, people passing by. She was happy, nice, didn’t feel threatened or anything by her… I would like to know if there is any significance to green skin.

-Cara Hauer 2018-01-11 5:43:46

I have a repeating dream of pulling small painful objects out of my skin like nails or shards of glass. It is very hot and painful as I pick each object out one by one but there are so many it never ends

--A. M. 2018-01-10 15:38:58

I had a dream that I was looking in the mirror and noticed I had a blemish in the middle of my upper lip. I pick at the blackhead and a dead beetle the size of a quarter comes out on its side. In the dream I felt disappointment for not realizing I had an insect under my skin sooner.

-Brandy 2017-12-07 16:58:46

I had a dream and I was surrounded by people they were staring at me, waiting for something. They were asking me questions but I wasn’t responding only laughing. Half my face was severely burnt but I was still smiling. I then ripped all of my skin off and it was painless. Everyone was frightened but I grabbed a new skin and pulled it over top my head and it fit my body seemlessly and was no longer burnt. After putting my new skin on I was naked. I smiled and wings emerged from my back and I flew away feeling blissful.

-J.D. 2017-11-14 5:46:46

I’ve been studying my dreams and also dabble in lucid dreaming.. I can’t seem to figure out what this one means though any comments are much appreciated. The other night I dreamt about making an incision all the way around my neck and then pulling my whole face off including the top of my head and hair and then putting it back on after a second or two. What trips me out when I was putting it back on I could actually feel the pressure as I got to the top of the skull / brain like in air pocket before it pulled back on… ??

-C W 2017-11-12 23:51:42

Had a dream that my friends skin was this strange blue-ish hue. Her eyes were also red and bloodshot. We just talked for a while, and she mentioned briefly that she was sick. It wasn’t horrifying (ie I didn’t experience a sense of dread) but it was a little bit disturbing. No idea what this dream meant, is anyone able to shed some light on this?

    -Tony Crisp 2017-11-13 11:22:40

    Hi – The answers I give arise not out of me thinking up things to say, but from fifty years of exploring dreams in depth. So some of what I write may seem wild. This may be because dreams arise and are experienced by a level of your mind or awareness that very few people have any concept or experience of – usually called the unconscious. So their view of dreams arise from their thinking mind, a very different creature than the thing giving you Life. Life dreamt millions of years before even humankind awoke and developed self awareness – a very young and precocious child. So I try to describe what takes place in the deeps of you.

    But it would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – and also which has so much information in.
    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in –


    CW – Dreams use images of things and people, not to represent them, but to stand for feelings and associations we have with them.

    So dreaming of a friend often symbolises a part of your own nature. The blue tint of her skin may say that either you are going through a change in which your views of the world and life are changing, or that your breathing isn’t working properly because you are not getting enough oxygen.

    Do you take shallow breaths? Thorough oxygenation of the system supplies each cell with sufficient oxygen to enliven its functioning, and to burn up waste products. This enables the body to utilise food more thoroughly and to repair itself. To see whether you can breathe abdominally, place one hand on the chest, and one on the abdomen. Breathe right out as far as possible, noticing whether this is a smooth or jerky exhalation. Then, breathe in as far as possible without moving the chest. Thus, in the beginning of this inhalation, the hand on the chest should not rise, only the one on the abdomen. Only then, with further inhalation, should the hand on the chest rise. For many people, at first try, this may seem almost impossible. The strange thing is that one is not in this way practising a breathing discipline, only trying to breathe naturally.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved