Health & Beauty

All About Common Skin Disorders

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

Some skin disorders have situational causes, while others may be genetic. While most skin disorders are minor, others can indicate a more serious issue.

Contact a doctor if you believe you may have one of these common skin problems.

Pictures of different skin disorders

There are many different types of skin disorders. Here are pictures of 25 different conditions, followed by a list of details for each.

List of skin disorders


  • Acne is commonly locatedTrusted Source on the face, neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back.
  • Breakouts on the skin are composed of redness, blackheads, whiteheads, 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.

Learn more about cold sores and cold sores on dark 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 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 2 cmTrusted Source 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 accompaniedTrusted Source 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 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 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 daysTrusted Source 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 causeTrusted Source more obvious PIH in People of Color
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