Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 25, 2022
Psoriasis

Psoriasis

1/10

More than 7.5 million adults in the U.S. have psoriasis. It is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, which shows up as plaques or scales on your skin. The most common flare-ups happen on your elbows, knees, and scalp. But plaque can pop up anywhere. There are five types of psoriasis: guttate, pustular, plaque, inverse, and erythrodermic. There is no known cause or cure, but it can be managed well with topical or oral medication and phototherapy.

Eczema

Eczema

2/10

Itchy skin, dryness, swelling, and discoloration are common symptoms of eczema, an inflammatory skin condition that can range from mild to severe. There are seven types that can affect anyone at any age, including newborns. If you have light skin, eczema may look red. If you have dark skin, it may look gray, dark brown, or purple. There are many ways to manage it, including topical drugs, phototherapy, and oral or injectable medication. A daily routine of bathing and moisturizing is important, too.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo

3/10

If you have a smooth, white patch where your skin has lost its color, or an area where your skin and hair are white, it may be vitiligo. It happens when your body’s immune system kills the skin cells that produce pigment. Vitiligo might cover a small area and stay that way, or grow larger and spread. You can treat it with oral or topical medications, phototherapy, or skin grafts, depending on the type you have and where it is.

Rosacea

Rosacea

4/10

There’s more to rosacea than the signature blush or sunburn that doesn’t fade away. Bumps, pimples, visible blood vessels, thickened skin, and watery eyes are common across all skin types. Because it mainly affects your face, rosacea can change how you feel about your appearance and how comfortable you feel in public. There are targeted treatments for each symptom and level of severity, including oral and topical drugs and lasers.

Hives

Hives

5/10

Hives are red or flesh-colored bumps that itch. They may look like bug bites, but hives turn white in the center when you press them, and they come and go quickly. They can be triggered by an allergy – to things like food, medication, pollen, a pet, or latex – or an infection, hormones, or strong emotions. Use an over-the-counter antihistamine for a mild case. Treat a severe case that makes it hard to breathe with epinephrine.

Shingles

Shingles

6/10

If you had chickenpox as a child, that virus, which lies dormant in your nerves for decades, can reactivate later in life as shingles. Also called herpes zoster, shingles can start out as itchy skin that turns into a rash. Small red spots turn into blisters that scab over and heal in 2-4 weeks. You can’t cure it, but you can manage symptoms with pain relief meds, antivirals, itch creams, and steroids. Shingles cannot be passed on to others unless someone who hasn't had chickenpox comes in contact with the fluid in a shingles blister.

Acne

Acne

7/10

Whiteheads, blackhead, pustules, papules – it’s all acne. Your pores become blocked with bacteria, oil, hair, and dead skin cells and produce pimples on your face, neck, chest, shoulders, or back. Driven largely by hormones, acne pops up during puberty and can continue, on and off, throughout adulthood. Your dermatologist may suggest a topical over-the-counter medication or prescribe a stronger oral or topical drug.

Alopecia

Alopecia

8/10

Known for causing hair loss, alopecia happens when your body attacks the follicles where your hair grows. There are three types: Alopecia areata involves patchy baldness anywhere on your body; alopecia totalis causes a bald scalp; and alopecia universalis, which is rare, leaves your body completely hairless. Treatment depends on what kind of alopecia you have and where it affects you, but may include topicals, shots, or oral medications.

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

9/10

Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma are types of skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. Like other types of cancer, it happens when cells don’t grow old and die as they should. Look for a skin change, like a new growth or change in a mole. In most cases, skin cancer can be cured if it’s caught and removed early.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis

10/10

Contact dermatitis is caused by an irritant, like latex or soap, or an allergy to something, like nickel or poison ivy. On light skin, it’s an itchy, red rash. On dark skin, it may look more like a dark, leathery patch. Use a cool, wet cloth to soothe the itch, along with calamine lotion or a 1% hydrocortisone cream. In more serious cases, your dermatologist may prescribe a steroid cream or an oral medication. Most rashes fade in 2 to 4 weeks.

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SOURCES:

JAMA Dermatology: “Psoriasis Prevalence in Adults in the United States.”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “About Psoriasis.”

National Eczema Association: “What is Eczema?”

Cleveland Clinic: “Vitiligo,” “Acne,” “Skin Cancer.”

National Rosacea Society: “All About Rosacea.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Hives.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Shingles.”

American Academy of Dermatology Association: “Hair Loss Types: Alopecia Areata Overview.”

Mayo Clinic: “Contact Dermatitis.”