Understanding Common Skin Disorders

Filed in Health by on August 29, 2021 1 Comment

There are various skin disorders that have been diagnosed today with varieties of symptoms and different degrees of severity.

Skin disorder can be:

  • Temporary or permanent
  • Painful or painless
  • Hyperpigmented or hypopigmented
  • Environmental/Situational causes or genetic causes.
  • Minor or life Threatening.

Some skin disorders are minor and resolve on its own, while some are serious with attendant complications.

Therefore when you start noticing an unusual discoloration or eruptions on your skin,  it is best to consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Different Common Skin Disorders

ACNEAcne skin disorder

  • Acnes are small eruptions found on the skin, with discoloration sometimes.
  • It is mostly found on the face, neck, chest, and at the back.
  • It is made up of some (whiteheads & blackheads), nodules, Painful cysts or pimples.
  • May leave dark spots and scares if compressed prematurely or left untreated.

COLD SORECold Sore skin disorder

  • Usually occurs in Impetigo and Herpes simplex virus type 1.
  • Composed of red, painful,  fluid-filled blisters usually occurring around the lips.
  • The sore present following rupture of the fluid-filled blisters.
  • It usually present with an aura of low-grade fever, malaise, flu-like symptoms, and associated lymphadenopathy.



  • Blisters can be described as an eruption containing a clear fluid-filled area on the skin.
  • It can be called a bullae(>1cm) or a vesicle(<1cm).
  • It can occur in singles or in clusters.
  • It can occur in any part of the body.



  • It is comprised of a raised marks on the body called wheals which develops when the body is exposed to an allergen.
  • They are very itchy, hyperemic, warm, and sometimes painful.
  • It can assume any shape ranging from small round dots to irregular.


  • It is a skin patch.
  • it is thick, scaly with crusts.
  • The color can be brown, pink,  or grey with erythematous base especially in fair people.
  • It ranges from 1-2cm
  • Usually occur in parts of the skin with direct exposure to sunlight like scalp, face, neck,  arm and hands).


  • It is a chronic skin disorder that follow an episodes appearance and relapsing.
  • Its appearance is usually triggered by either sunlight, stress,  spicy food or alcohol. Bacteria like Helicobacter pylori can initiate the process.
  • Rosacea is one of 4 subtypes with a wide range of symptoms including redness, dryness of the skin,  flushing or bumps.


  • It is a bacterial skin infection, made up of a raised, painful, and irritated lump on the skin.
  • It is usually accompanied with fever, malaise and body ache.
  • Can be oozing pus or crusted.


This is an allergic skin reaction considered a dermatological emergency requiring urgent care. This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Here, there is adverse skin reaction on exposure to latex material; presenting with rash within few minutes to hours.

Comprised of a warm,  hyperemic,  itchy welts on the site of contact with a dry crusted appearance.

Latex particles when inhaled may cause sneezing,  dry cough,  itchy throat, or runny nose in such individuals.

A severe for of this allergic reaction can result in difficulty in breathing following swelling of airway mucosa.


  • A fungal skin infection.
  • Comprised of white scaly patches on the affected skin, capable of flaking off when severe.
  • The affected area may be itchy, hyperemic, oily
  • There is associated hair loss in that area.


  • It is a skin patch made up of raised Scally, grey or silver coloured area of the skin.
  • It has a sharply defined margin
  • Commonly seen on Elbows, scalp,  knees,  and lower back.
  • It can be itchy in some people while asymptomatic in others.


  • This a bacterial skin disorder and sometimes fungal infection, affecting the  facia and deep soft tissues of the skin.
  • It is considered a dermatological emergency, as a result requires urgent care.
  • This organisms enter through a breach on the skin surface.
  • The affected skin is swollen, painful, hyperemic, and warm & tender to touch.
  • It is associated with fever, chills and rigor.


  • It is a skin manifestations of measle virus infection in children.
  • It is comprised of erythematous papulosquamous rash.
  • Symptoms include low-grade fever, sore throat, red, watery eyes, loss of appetite, cough, and runny nose.
  • The rash is mostly on the face and the trunk between 3-5days of symptoms manifestations.
  • Koplik spot- A tiny red spot with blue-white centers appearing inside the mouth is a diagnostic feature.


  • It is a malignant skin lession.
  • Made up of an elevated, firm pale or brown area that resembles a scar.
  • The raised portion has a central punctum with erythematous or pink base.
  • There is also the presence of visible blood vessel on the growth.
  • The wound can be bleeding or oozing serous fluids making it difficult to heal completely.


  • Just like the basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant skin lesions.
  • Majorly occurs in areas of the skin with direct sunlight exposure.such areas includes face and dorsum of hands.
  • It appears like a patch with reddish, scally lesson that continue to grow into a bump.
  • It easily bleeds and does not heal quickly.


  • This is also a malignant skin lesion, more difficult to treat than the basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
  • It is the most common type of skin cancer and mostly seen in individuals with fair skin.
  • It appears like a mole and can appear anywhere on the body.
  • It irregularly shaped edges with multiple colors and asymmetrical in shapes.
  • It can grow bigger as time progresses.


  • This is an autoimmune skin disorder
  • Symptoms include Body itch, painful joints, fever and fatigue.
  • It is a very distressing rash with scally, disc-shaped lessons.
  • Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, fever, and swollen or painful joints.
  • Comprises a ring-shaped erythematous patches that can be seen on the neck, trunk, face, shoulders and arms.
  • It worsens on exposure to sunlight(photosensitive).
  • Can appear like a red, butterfly shaped lesions across the cheek and nose.


  • This an adverse skin reaction to physical objects within the environment.
  • Appears within hours or days after contact with the offending object.
  • The rash has a well define borders appearing on the skin area that touched the irritant.
  • It is red, itchy and scally.
  • There rash could also become ruptured, oozy and crusty.

VITILIGOVitiligo skin disorder

  • Here there is a loss of melanocyte of the affected areas of the skin.
  • This is due to an autoimmune destruction of the melanocytes leading to depigmentation
  • It has two pattern of occurrence as: Focal pattern: The affected area can merge together thereby spreading more. Segmental pattern: there is depigmentation occurring on only one part of the body without affecting other parts.
  • There could be greying of eyelashes, eyebrows and hairs on the scalp.


  • This is a raised skin lesion with irregular surfaces.
  • Caused by various strains of Human papilloma virus(HPV).
  • Seen on the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Can appear singly or in groups
  • Highly contagious.


  • This is a papular rash that spreads in a centrifugal pattern.
  • There could also be clusters of itchy, fluid-filled blisters during healing stages.
  • The rash is associated with fever, sore throat,  body ache and loss of appetite.
  • It remains contagious until after crusting.


  • It is a scally patch, yellow or white in color that flakes off.
  • The rash affects area with hair, can be itchy, erythematous, and greasy.


  • It is a common skin condition seen majorly on the legs and arms. Can also occure on the trunk, face and buttock.
  • It is self-limiting and usually disappear by 30 year of age.
  • It is a slightly raised, reddish and rough rash
  • Can be worsened by dry weather.


  • It is a spherical shaped scaly rash with raised borders
  • It assumes a ring form with central clearing and the edges appearing outward.
  • It is itchy and can be seen on the scalp, hands and body.

MELASMAMelasma Skin disorder

  • It is a common skin condition.
  • A patch, hyperpigmented seen on the face, neck, trunk,  arm or chest.
  • Usually common in pregnant women called chloasma. Also seen in people with regular sun exposure.
  • There is no other symptoms apart from hyperpigmentation.
  • Can disappear on its own or remain permanent.


  • Usually common in babies and children.
  • Seen mostly around the lips, nose and chin.
  • Made up of a fluid-filled blister that ruptures and the fluid affecting other areas of the skin, leaving a crust.

Temporary Skin Disorders

There are several self-limiting skin diseases like contact dermatitis and keratosis piliaris.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis(CD) is one of the most common occupational skin diseases . It occurs following contact with chemicals,  irritants,  fluids, or materials in the workplace.

As a result,  the skin can become itchy, erythematous and inflammatory process can ensure. In many cases, contact dermatitis is not severe,  but the itching is usually predominant.

It can be managed effectively using topical creams and avoiding the offending irritant.

Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a minor skin disease-causing small elevated rough papules on the skin. These Papules are usually seen on the thigh, upper arm and cheeks.They are not itchy,  but has a characteristic redness.

It is self-limiting, however,  topical creams are important.

Permanent Skin Disorders

Some chronic skin disorders are present from early stage of life while others appear later in life.

The exact causes of these disorders are not known,  however they can be linked to the autoimmune response by T-lymphocyte.

Some permanent skin disorders can be properly treated which allows a reasonable time before reemerging. However, it cannot be cured completely because symptoms can reappear anytime.

Examples of chronic skin conditions include:

  • Psoriasis
  • Vitiligo
  • Rosacea

Skin Disorders in Children

Children are prone to many skin disorders. They can experience some of the same skin conditions as the adults.

Infants and toddlers are highly at the risk of ammoniacal rash following frequent wearing of diapers.

Children are frequently exposed to germs and other children with skin disorders in schools, therefore they are more likely to develop skin disease that is rare in adults.Some skin problems disappear with age, at the same time children can also inherit permanent skin disorders. Skin disorders in children can be treated with topical creams medicated lotions, or condition-specific drugs.

Some common skin disorders in childhood includes:

  • Ammoniacal Rash
  • Measles
  • Hives
  • Fifth disease
  • Eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Ringworm
  • Chickenpox
  • Warts

Symptoms of Skin Disorders

Skin diseases have a wide range of symptoms,  however not all the symptoms seen on the skin are due to primary skin disease,  many could be due to cutaneous manifestation of other systemic illnesses.

Any skin disorders that don’t have any obvious cause could indicate an actual skin condition and would require proper treatment.

Symptoms suggesting actual skin disorders include:

  • Macule
  • Papule
  • Patch
  • Nodule
  • Plaque
  • Wheal
  • Vesicle
  • Bulla
  • Comedons
  • Cyst
  • Telangiectasia
  • Pustules
  • Burrow

Causes of Skin Disorders

Common known causes of skin disorders include:

  • Bacteria penetration into the skin following cuts, crack or infected hair follicles.
  • Fungi & parasites
  • Viruses
  • Low immunity/immunocompromise.
  • Contact with infected persons, allergens, and irritants.
  • Genetic origin.
  • Systemic illnesses
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Idiopathic

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD) is a name given to intestinal disorders with prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract.

This disease has a cutaneous manifestation especially the drugs used in its treatment. Such manifestations includes:

  • Anal fissure
  • Vasculitis
  • Stomatitis
  • Vitiligo
  • Skin tags
  • Allergic dermatitis


Uncontrolled diabetes in a patient is accompanied with lots of cutaneous manifestation. Most of these manifestations are specific for diabetic patient.

Some Diabetes-related skin conditions include:

  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Tinea pedis( Athlete’s foot)
  • Ringworm and yeast infections
  • Diabetic blisters
  • Acanthosis nigricans
  • Digital sclerosis
  • Folliculitis

Read also: Understanding Type 2 Diabetes 


Lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disease that is multi-systemic affecting the internal organs, connective tissues, skin, and joints.

Common cutaneous manifestations of Lupus includes:

  • Exfoliating skin lesions
  • Round shaped lesions on body parts exposed to sunlight.
  • Rashes on the face resembling sunburn.
  • Mouth nose Sores
  • Hyperemic spots on the legs.
  • Dark spots on fingers and toes.


Pregnancy is accompanied by lots of physiological changes in the body. These changes are due to some hormonal increase leading to some skin manifestations in certain individuals.

Pregnancy can Aggravate already existing skin conditions. However many of them disappear after delivery while some persist, requiring treatment.

Example of cutaneous manifestation in pregnancy includes:

  • Melasma
  • Non-bullous pemphigoid
  • Pruritic urticaria papules and plagues in pregnancy(PUPPP).
  • Stretch marks
  • Eczema


Stress can trigger hormonal imbalances in the body, which may initiate or worsen skin disorders. Stress-related skin problems include:

  • Hives
  • Ichthyosis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Alopecia areata
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Rosacea


Frequent sun exposure may cause several skin disorders, especially in fair-skinned individuals.

This ranges from common and harmless to severe and life-threatening.

Sunlight exposure may cause or aggravate the following conditions:

  • Sunburn
  • Wrinkles
  • Tanning
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Moles
  • Photosensitivity and irritations
  • Itching
  • Skin cancers such as Basal cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

Treating skin disorders

Many skin disorders can be treated successfully.

Common treatment Modalities for skin conditions include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungals
  • Immunomodulators
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Topical steroids or injections
  • Laser therapy
  • Special creams and medicated soaps
  • Targeted prescription medication

It is worthy to note at this point that not all skin problems require or respond to medications. Some are self limiting.

Permanent skin conditions can plague a patient with severe symptoms. For such, it ususally reappears even after remission due to certain aggravating factors.

More concerns are on skin disorders due to its cosmetic relevance.

Temporary skin disorders can be treated with:

  • Good hygiene practices
  • Medicated soaps
  • Skincare products
  • Adjustment in lifestyle.

Preventing skin disorders

Some skin problems are not preventable like those of genetic predisposition and the cutaneous manifestation of some systemic illnesses. However, skin problems generally can be prevented by following some simple tips as follows:

  • Regular handwashing of hands with soap under running water
  • Avoid sharing clothes, Towels, and underwears with people
  • Avoid direct skin contact with people that have skin disorders
  • Avoid crowds
  • Ensure regular bathing
  • Avoid sharing personal items like hairbrush, hairpin, clippers, and blankets.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Have enough sleep
  • Eat Balanced diets
  • Get vaccinated against skin diseases like measles, chicken pox.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure.

Noninfectious skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis, and allergic skin reactions are preventable. Prevention techniques depend on the cause. Some noninfectious skin disorders can be prevented by the following ways:

  • Regular bathing
  • Use of skin moisturizer
  • Avoid allergens
  • Protection from excessive cold or heat.
  • Eat healthy diets
  • Avoid contact with chemicals and irritants.

It can be of help for one to learn about proper skincare and Simple treatment for skin disorders. However certain conditions require the attention of a doctor while ensuring other preventive measures.

Talk to a dermatologist when you have skin problem for proper diagnosis, treatment, and guidance.

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Greetings!

    Thankyou for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting information.

    HealthForce Training Center
    Connecticut|Florida|New Jersey|New York

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.