27 Skin Disorders You Did Not Know About(2023)

Skin disorders, such as acne and eczema, vary greatly in symptoms and severity. They can be temporary or permanent and may be painless or painful. Some can be life threatening.


  • Acne is commonly located on the face, neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back.
  • Breakouts on the skin are composed of redness, blackheads, white heads, pimples, or deep, painful cysts and nodules.
  • This condition may leave scars or darken the skin if untreated.
  • People of Color can experience dark spots known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

Cold sore

  • This condition causes a red, painful, fluid-filled blister that appears near the mouth and lips. People with lighter skin may notice more redness than those with darker skin.
  • The 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.
  • Cold sores usually look similar on any skin color but can also cause PIH in people with darker skin.


  • Blisters are characterized by a watery, clear, fluid-filled area on the skin.
  • They may be smaller than 1 centimeter(cm) (vesicle) or larger than 1 cm (bulla) and can occur alone or in groups.
  • Blisters can be found anywhere on the body.


  • This causes itchy, raised welts that occur after exposure to an allergen.
  • Welts may be warm and mildly painful to the touch.
  • Hives on the darker skin can appear raised or inflamed and might be slightly darker or lighter than your natural skin color. On lighter skin, hives usually appear red.
  • They can be small, round, ring-shaped, or randomly shaped.

Actinic keratosis

  • This condition causes a thick, scaly, or crusty skin patch
  • It’s typically less than 2cm or about the size of a pencil eraser.
  • It often appears on parts of the body that receive a lot of sun exposure, such as the hands, arms, face, scalp, and neck.
  • The skin patch is usually pink in color but can have a brown, tan, or gray base. This patch may appear the same color as the surrounding skin in people with darker skin.


  • This chronic skin disease 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, skin dryness, and skin sensitivity.
  • People with darker skin tones may notice brown discoloration or dry and swollen patches of dark skin.


  • This causes a red, painful, and irritated lump under your skin.
  • It may be accompained by fever, body aches, and fatigue.
  • It can also cause skin crustiness or oozing.
  • It may appear more violet on darker skin.

Latex allergy

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required. Contact 911 or local emergency services.

  • This causes a rash, which may occur within minutes to hours after exposure to a latex product. It may be less visible on darker skin or appear lighter or darker than surrounding tissue.
  • It also causes warm, itchy wheals at the site of contact, which 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.


  • Eczema is characterized by yellow or white scaly patches that flake off.
  • Affected areas may be itchy, greasy, or oily.
  • On light skin, eczema can cause a red rash. This rash may appear brown, purple, or gray on darker skin.
  • Hair loss may also occur in the area with the rash.


  • This causes scaly, silvery, sharply defined skin patches. Darker skinned people might also experience dark brown or purplish patches on the skin.
  • Patches are commonly located on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.
  • This condition may be itchy or asymptomatic.


Cellulitis is a medical emergency. A person should contact 911 or local emergency services if they have any symptoms of cellulitis

  • Cellulitis is caused by bacteria or fungi entering through a crack or cut in the skin.
  • It causes painful  swollen skin with or without oozing that spreads quickly.
  • The skin might appear red on lighter skin. However, this may be less noticeable on darker skin tones.
  • The skin may feel hot and tender to the touch.
  • Fever, chills, and red streaking from the rash might be symptoms of a serious infection requiring medical attention.


  • Symptoms of measles include fever, sore throat, red or watery eyes, loss of appetite, cough, and runny nose.
  • It also causes a red rash, which spreads from the face down the body 3 to 5 days after the first symptoms appear. This rash might be more difficult to see on darker skin.
  • Tiny red spots with blue-white centers may appear inside the mouth.
  • Measles may cause more obvious PIH in People of Color

Basal cell carcinoma

  • This condition is often characterized by raised, firm, and pale areas that may resemble a scar.
  • It can cause dome-like, pink or red, shiny, and pearly areas that may have a sunk-in center, like a crater. For people with dark skin, it might appear darker and less pearly.
  • Blood vessels on the growth may be visible.
  • It might cause easy bleeding or an oozing wound that doesn’t seem to heal or heals and then reappears.

Squamous cell carcinoma

  • This condition often occurs in areas exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as the face, ears, and back of the hands.
  • It may be characterized by a scaly, reddish patch of skin, which progresses to a raised bump that continues to grow. The bump may be ligheter on darker skin.
  • It can also cause a growth that bleeds easily, doesn’t heal, or heals and then reappears.


  • This is the most serious form of skin cancer, which is more common in people with light skin.
  • It can appear anywhere on the body as a mole that has irregularly shaped edges, asymmetrical shapes, and multiple colors. In People of Color, melanoma often appears in areas that are less exposed to the sun.
  • It might also appear as a mole that has changed color or gotten bigger over time, which is usually larger than a pencil eraser.


  • Lupus symptoms include fatigue, headaches, fever, and swollen or painful joints.
  • It can cause a scaly, disc-shaped rash that doesn’t itch or hurt.
  • Scaly red patches or ring shapes are most commonly located on the shoulders, forearms, neck, and upper torso and worsen with exposure to sunlight. People of Color have a greater risk of development PIH and abnormal scarring.
  • It also causes a warm, brown, or red rash that spreads across the cheeks and bridge of the nose like butterfly wings and worsens in the sun.

Contact dermatitis

  • This condition appears hours to days after contact with an allergen.
  • It causes a rash with visible borders and appears where your skin touched the irritating substance.
  • The skin may be itchy, scaly, or raw. Lighter skin can appear red, while darker skin may appear purple, gray, or dark brown.
  • It might also cause blisters that weep, ooze, or become crusty.



  • Vitiligo is characterized by loss of pigment in the skin due to autoimmune destruction of the cells that give skin its color.
  • Focal vitiligo causes loss of skin color in only a few small areas, which may merge together.
  • Segmental pattern vitiligo causes depigmentation on one side of the body.
  • Vitiligo can also cause premature graying of the scalp or facial hair.
  • People of different skin tones will usually develop skin patches much lighter than their natural skin tone. In people with darker skin, it tends to be more noticeable, which may cause increased stigma related to the condition.


  • Warts are caused by many different types of a virus called the human papillomavirus(HPV).
  • They may be found on the skin or mucous membranes and can occur singly or in groups.
  • Warts are contagious and may be passsd to others. They may appear darker on skin of color.


  • This can cause clusters of itchy, red or brown, fluid-filled blisters in various stages of healing all over the body.
  • The rash is accompanied by fever, body aches, sore throat, and loss of appetite.
  • Chickenpox remains contagious until all blisters have crusted over.
  • Chickenpox can be harder to see on darker skin.

Seborrheic eczema

  • This condition is  yellow or white scaly patches that characterized by at flake off.
  • Affected areas may be red, itchy, greasy, or oily.
  • People with darker skin may also notice hypopigmentation, or loss of skin color, in affected areas.
  • Hair loss may occur in the area with the rash.


Keratosis pilaris

  • This common skin condition is most often seen on the arms and legs but might also occur on the face, buttocks, and trunk.
  • It often clears up on its own by age 30.
  • It often causes patches of skin that appear bumpy, appear slightly red, and feel rough.
  • Symptoms may get worse in dry weather.
  • The hair follicles may look darker than the surrounding skin on darker skin. They’ll usually look red or purple on lighter skin.


  • This condition causes circular, scaly rashes with a raised border.
  • Skin in the middle of the ring might appear clear and healthy, and the ring’s edges may spread outward.
  • The skin often feels itchy.
  • The ring is usually red or pink on light skin and brown or gray on darker skin.


  • This common skin condition causes dark patches to appear on the face and — rarely — the neck, chest, or arms.
  • Melasma is more common in pregnant people (chloasma) and individuals with a darker skin color or heavy sun exposure.
  • It might not cause other symptoms beyond skin discoloration.
  • It may go away on its own within a year or may become permanent.


  • This condition is  in babies and children.
  • It usually causes an irritating rash, which is often located in the area around the mouth, chin, and nose.
  • It might also cause fluid-filled blisters that pop easily and form a honey-colored crust.
  • It may be harder to see on darker skin.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is one of the most common occupational illnesses, often resulting from contact with chemicals or other irritating materials.

These substances can trigger a reaction that causes the skin to become itchy and inflamed. Affected areas might also appear red, purple, gray, or dark brown. 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

Keratois 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.

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