Conditions of the Skin

Read, download or print this information about common conditions of the skin.

Actinic Keratosis
An abnormal growth in your epidermis. This occurs as a reaction of excessive exposure to the sunlight’s ultraviolet rays. These growths are most often diagnosed on areas of skin frequently exposed to the sun; particularly the face, ears, lips, bald scalp and also the backs of hands, shoulders and neck. Read more

Atopic dermatitis
A chronic skin disorder characterized by severe itching. ‘Atopic’ refers to a tendency to develop allergies, such as hayfever and asthma. ‘Dermatitis’ means inflammation of the skin. Scratching causes worsening of symptoms and may lead to crusted, weepy lesions which have become infected. Read more

Atypical mole (Dysplastic nevus)
Usually a large mole which does not have definite borders but rather a splotchy shape, unlike normal moles. Although Atypical moles can be found anywhere on the body, they are most commonly found on a man's hind-quarters and a woman's calf. They are generally flat to the skin but can also be raised and and are not a uniform color. Read more

Basal Cell Carcinoma
The most common type of skin cancer; in fact, they rank as the most common type of cancer in humans. Basal cell carcinomas typically grow slowly, rarely spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body, and are usually cured when treated early. Read more

Benign Nevi
Pigmented skin growths that show no current signs of abnormality, or pathology, typical of skin cancer. On average, most adults can have 10-40 moles on their entire skin surface. While some families who have a history of congenital moles and melanoma have a higher risk for developing skin cancer, everyone is at risk. Read more

Fungal Infections
Can affect almost any surface of the body ranging from the scalp, arms and legs all the way to the feet, groin and nails. These infections are itchy, and you may have a red scaly or a ring-shaped rash. Fungal infections are usually spread through direct contact with an infected person or animal, as well as contaminated clothing, bedding, and towels. Read more

Melanoma
One of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. It develops as skin cells are damaged. This damage can occur as a result of genetic predisposition or by environmental exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It is possible to have a melanoma even though you may have had minimal sun exposure. Read more

Psoriasis
A chronic skin disorder affecting one percent of the US population and is characterized by red, scaly sores. In patients with psoriasis, the surface skin cells (epithelial cells) grow at an increased rate, causing skin cells to pile up on the surface of the skin. Read more

Squamous cell carcinoma
A cancer of the main part of the epidermis, more specifically a kind of epithelial cell. This is one of the largest forms of skin cancer and can be found in diverse tissues: mouth, lips, esophagus, lungs, prostate, etc. Read more

Tinea
Fungi infections in the skin called dermatophytes, also known as “ringworm” or “tinea.” One example of a very common fungal infection is athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis. Another common fungal infection is jock itch, an infection affecting the groin area and also known as tinea cruris. Read more

Warts
A common skin condition caused by a fairly common virus. Warts are transmitted by contact between people, or from contact with an item such as a towel that someone with warts used. If you have a break in the skin, bite your nails, have irritated cuticles, or a weakened immune system, you are more vulnerable to the virus. Read more