Skin disorders vary greatly in symptoms and severity. They can be temporary or permanent, and may be painless or painful. Some have situational causes, while others may be genetic. Some skin conditions are minor, and others can be life-threatening.

While most skin disorders are minor, others can indicate a more serious issue. Contact your doctor if you think you might have one of these common skin problems.

There are many different types of skin disorders. Here is a list of 25 with pictures.

Warning: graphic images ahead.

Acne

acne
  • Commonly located on the face, neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back
  • Breakouts on the skin composed of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or deep, painful cysts and nodules
  • May leave scars or darken the skin if untreated

Read full article on acne.


Cold sore

Cold sore
  • Red, painful, fluid-filled blister that appears near the mouth and lips
  • Affected area will often tingle or burn before the sore is visible
  • Outbreaks may also be accompanied by mild, flu-like symptoms such as low fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes

Read full article on cold sores.


Blister

Blister
  • Characterized by watery, clear, fluid-filled area on the skin
  • May be smaller than 1 cm (vesicle) or larger than 1 cm (bulla) and occur alone or in groups
  • Can be found anywhere on the body

Read full article on blisters.


Hives

Hives
  • Itchy, raised welts that occur after exposure to an allergen
  • Red, warm, and mildly painful to the touch
  • Can be small, round, and ring-shaped or large and randomly shaped

Read full article on hives.


Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis
  • Typically less than 2 cm, or about the size of a pencil eraser
  • Thick, scaly, or crusty skin patch
  • Appears on parts of the body that receive a lot of sun exposure (hands, arms, face, scalp, and neck)
  • Usually pink in color but can have a brown, tan, or gray base

Read full article on actinic keratosis.


Rosacea

Rosacea

By M. Sand, D. Sand, C. Thrandorf, V. Paech, P. Altmeyer, F. G. Bechara [CC BY 2.0 ()], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Chronic skin disease that goes through cycles of fading and relapse
  • Relapses may be triggered by spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, sunlight, stress, and the intestinal bacteria Helicobacter pylori
  • There are four subtypes of rosacea encompassing a wide variety of symptoms
  • Common symptoms include facial flushing, raised, red bumps, facial redness, skin dryness, and skin sensitivity

Read full article on rosacea.


Carbuncle

Carbuncle
  • Red, painful, and irritated lump under your skin
  • May be accompanied by fever, body aches, and fatigue
  • Can cause skin crustiness or oozing

Read full article on carbuncles.


Latex allergy

Latex allergy

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

  • Rash may occur within minutes to hours after exposure to a latex product
  • Warm, itchy, red wheals at the site of contact that may take on a dry, crusted appearance with repeated exposure to latex
  • Airborne latex particles may cause cough, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes
  • A severe allergy to latex can cause swelling and difficulty breathing

Read full article on latex allergies.


Eczema

Eczema
  • Yellow or white scaly patches that flake off
  • Affected areas may be red, itchy, greasy, or oily
  • Hair loss may occur in the area with the rash

Read full article on eczema.


Psoriasis

Psoriasis

MediaJet/Wikimedia Commons

  • Scaly, silvery, sharply defined skin patches
  • Commonly located on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back
  • May be itchy or asymptomatic

Read full article on psoriasis.


Cellulitis

Cellulitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

  • Caused by bacteria or fungi entering through a crack or cut in the skin
  • Red, painful, swollen skin with or without oozing that spreads quickly
  • Hot and tender to the touch
  • Fever, chills, and red streaking from the rash might be a sign of serious infection requiring medical attention

Read full article on cellulitis.


Measles

Measles

Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. Heinz F. Eichenwald [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Symptoms include fever, sore throat, red, watery eyes, loss of appetite, cough, and runny nose
  • Red rash spreads from the face down the body three to five days after first symptoms appear
  • Tiny red spots with blue-white centers appear inside the mouth

Read full article on measles.


Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma
  • Raised, firm, and pale areas that may resemble a scar
  • Dome-like, pink or red, shiny, and pearly areas that may have a sunk-in center, like a crater
  • Visible blood vessels on the growth
  • Easy bleeding or oozing wound that doesn't seem to heal, or heals and then reappears

Read full article on basal cell carcinoma.


Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Often occurs in areas exposed to UV radiation, such as the face, ears, and back of the hands
  • Scaly, reddish patch of skin progresses to a raised bump that continues to grow
  • Growth that bleeds easily and doesn't heal, or heals and then reappears

Read full article on squamous cell carcinoma.


Melanoma

Melanoma
  • The most serious form of skin cancer, more common in fair-skinned people
  • Mole anywhere on the body that has irregularly shaped edges, asymmetrical shape, and multiple colors
  • Mole that has changed color or gotten bigger over time
  • Usually larger than a pencil eraser

Read full article on melanoma.


Lupus

lupus

By Doktorinternet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ()], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, fever, and swollen or painful joints
  • Scaly, disc-shaped rash that doesn’t itch or hurt
  • Scaly red patches or ring shapes most commonly located on the shoulders, forearms, neck, and upper torso that worsen with exposure to sunlight
  • Warm, red rash that spreads across the cheeks and bridge of the nose like butterfly wings and worsens in the sun

Read full article on lupus.


Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis
  • Appears hours to days after contact with an allergen
  • Rash has visible borders and appears where your skin touched the irritating substance
  • Skin is itchy, red, scaly, or raw
  • Blisters that weep, ooze, or become crusty

Read full article on contact dermatitis.


Vitiligo

Vitiligo
  • Loss of pigment in the skin due to autoimmune destruction of the cells that give skin its color
  • Focal pattern: loss of skin color in only a few small areas that may merge together
  • Segmental pattern: depigmentation on one side of the body
  • Premature graying of scalp and/or facial hair

Read full article on vitiligo.


Wart

Wart

Dermnet

  • Caused by many different types of a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • May be found on the skin or mucous membranes
  • May occur singly or in groups
  • Contagious and may be passed to others

Read full article on warts.


Chickenpox

Chickenpox
  • Clusters of itchy, red, fluid-filled blisters in various stages of healing all over the body
  • Rash is accompanied by fever, body aches, sore throat, and loss of appetite
  • Remains contagious until all blisters have crusted over

Read full article on chickenpox.


Seborrheic eczema

Seborrheic eczema
  • Yellow or white scaly patches that flake off
  • Affected areas may be red, itchy, greasy, or oily
  • Hair loss may occur in the area with the rash

Read full article on seborrheic eczema.


Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris
  • Common skin condition most often seen on the arms and legs, but might also occur on the face, buttocks, and trunk
  • Often clears up on its own by age 30
  • Patches of skin that appear bumpy, slightly red, and feel rough
  • May get worse in dry weather

Read full article on keratosis pilaris.


Ringworm

Ringworm

James Heilman/Wikimedia Commons

  • Circular-shaped scaly rashes with raised border
  • Skin in the middle of the ring appears clear and healthy, and the edges of the ring may spread outward
  • Itchy

Read full article on ringworm.


Melasma

Melasma
  • Common skin condition that causes dark patches to appear on the face and, rarely, the neck, chest, or arms
  • More common in pregnant women (chloasma) and individuals with darker skin color and heavy sun exposure
  • No other symptoms beyond skin discoloration
  • May go away on its own within a year or may become permanent

Read full article on melasma.


Impetigo

Impetigo
  • Common in babies and children
  • Rash is often located in the area around the mouth, chin, and nose
  • Irritating rash and fluid-filled blisters that pop easily and form a honey-colored crust

Read full article on impetigo.

Many temporary skin conditions exist, including contact dermatitis and keratosis pilaris.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is one of the most common occupational illnesses. The condition is often the result of contact with chemicals or other irritating materials. These substances can trigger a reaction that causes the skin to become itchy, red, and inflamed. Most cases of contact dermatitis aren’t severe, but they can be rather itchy. Topical creams and avoiding the irritant are typical treatments.

Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a minor condition that causes small, rough bumps on the skin. These bumps usually form on the upper arms, thighs, or cheeks. They’re typically red or white and don’t hurt or itch. Treatment isn’t necessary, but medicated creams can improve skin appearance.

Some chronic skin conditions are present from birth, while others appear suddenly later in life.

The cause of these disorders isn’t always known. Many permanent skin disorders have effective treatments that enable extended periods of remission. However, they’re incurable, and symptoms can reappear at any time. Examples of chronic skin conditions include:

  • rosacea, which is characterized by small, red, pus-filled bumps on the face
  • psoriasis, which causes scaly, itchy, and dry patches
  • vitiligo, which results in large, irregular patches of skin

Skin disorders are common in children. Children can experience many of the same skin conditions as adults. Infants and toddlers are also at risk for diaper-related skin problems. Since children have more frequent exposure to other children and germs, they may also develop skin disorders that rarely occur in adults. Many childhood skin problems disappear with age, but children can also inherit permanent skin disorders. In most cases, doctors can treat childhood skin disorders with topical creams, medicated lotions, or condition-specific drugs.

Common childhood skin disorders include:

Skin conditions have a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms on your skin that appear due to common problems aren’t always the result of a skin disorder. Such symptoms can include blisters from new shoes or chafing from tight pants. However, skin problems that have no obvious cause may indicate the presence of an actual skin condition that requires treatment.

Skin irregularities that are typically symptoms of a skin disorder include:

Common known causes of skin disorders include:

  • bacteria trapped in skin pores and hair follicles
  • fungus, parasites, or microorganisms living on the skin
  • viruses
  • a weakened immune system
  • contact with allergens, irritants, or another person’s infected skin
  • genetic factors
  • illnesses affecting the thyroid, immune system, kidneys, and other body systems

Numerous health conditions and lifestyle factors can also lead to the development of certain skin disorders. Some skin conditions have no known cause.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is a term for a group of intestinal disorders that cause prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract. These bowel-related disorders often cause skin problems. The drugs used to treat these diseases can cause certain skin conditions, such as:

Diabetes

Many people with diabetes experience a skin problem as a result of their condition at some point. Some of these skin disorders only affect people with diabetes. Others occur more frequently in people with diabetes because the disease increases the risk for infection and blood circulation problems. Diabetes-related skin conditions include:

Lupus

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can damage the skin, joints, or organs inside the body. Common skin problems that occur from lupus include:

  • round lesions on the face and head
  • thick, red, scaly lesions
  • red, ring-shaped lesions on body parts exposed to sunlight
  • flat rash on the face and body that looks like a sunburn
  • red, purple, or black spots on fingers and toes
  • sores inside the mouth and nose
  • tiny red spots on the legs

Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes significant changes in hormone levels that may lead to skin problems. Preexisting skin problems may change or get worse during pregnancy. Most skin conditions that arise during pregnancy go away after the baby is born. Others require medical attention during pregnancy.

Common skin conditions caused by pregnancy include:

Stress

Stress can cause hormonal imbalances, which may trigger or aggravate skin disorders. Stress-related skin problems include:

Sun

The sun can cause many different skin disorders. Some are common and harmless, while others are rare or life-threatening. Knowing if the sun causes or worsens your skin disorder is important for treating it properly.

Sunlight exposure may cause or aggravate the following conditions:

Many skin disorders are treatable. Common treatment methods for skin conditions include:

  • antihistamines
  • medicated creams and ointments
  • antibiotics
  • vitamin or steroid injections
  • laser therapy
  • targeted prescription medications

Not all skin disorders respond to treatment. Some conditions go away without treatment. People with permanent skin conditions often go through periods of severe symptoms. Sometimes people are able to force incurable conditions into remission. However, most skin conditions reappear due to certain triggers, such as stress or illness.

You can often treat skin disorders that are temporary and cosmetic with:

  • medicated makeup
  • over-the-counter skin care products
  • good hygiene practices
  • small lifestyle adjustments, such as making certain dietary changes

Certain skin disorders aren’t preventable, including genetic conditions and some skin problems due to other illnesses. However, it’s possible to prevent some skin disorders.

Follow these tips to prevent infectious skin disorders:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently.
  • Avoid sharing eating utensils and drinking glasses with other people.
  • Avoid direct contact with the skin of other people who have an infection.
  • Clean things in public spaces, such as gym equipment, before using them.
  • Don’t share personal items, such as blankets, hairbrushes, or swimsuits.
  • Sleep for at least seven hours each night.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid excessive physical or emotional stress.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • Get vaccinated for infectious skin conditions, such as chickenpox.

Noninfectious skin disorders, such as acne and atopic dermatitis, are sometimes preventable. Prevention techniques vary depending on the condition. Here are some tips for preventing some noninfectious skin disorders:

  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and water every day.
  • Use moisturizer.
  • Avoid environmental and dietary allergens.
  • Avoid contact with harsh chemicals or other irritants.
  • Sleep for at least seven hours each night.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Protect your skin from excessive cold, heat, and wind.

Learning about proper skin care and treatment for skin disorders can be very important for skin health. Some conditions require the attention of a doctor, while you can address others safely at home. You should learn about your symptoms or condition and talk with your doctor to determine the best treatment methods.