Skin Conditions FAQ

Your skin is your body's largest organ and it covers and protects all parts of your body. 

According to an observational study done by researchers in 2017, skin diseases are the 4th leading cause of non-fatal disease burden worldwide, affecting almost one-third of the world's population.1

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about skin conditions.

What are some serious skin conditions?

Not all skin conditions are serious. Many skin conditions can be treated at home. However, some skin health issues require the immediate attention of a dermatologist.2 Three examples of such conditions are; 

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. Early detection and immediate onset of treatment help to overcome this serious condition. The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Other types include squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma (the most serious type of skin cancer, because it tends to spread quickly), cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, sebaceous carcinoma, and merkel cell carcinoma.3

Regular skin self-examination plays a significant role in skin cancer prevention.

Learn more about how to perform a skin cancer self-exam here.

Skin allergy: Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. It usually occurs within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen. The most common allergens that can trigger an anaphylactic reaction are peanuts, fish, shellfish, milk, soy, and sesame, certain medications such as antibiotics, stings from bees, wasps, yellow jackets, fire ants, and latex.

Symptoms include hives, itching, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, bumps, pale skin, and trouble breathing.

Seek medical help immediately if you or someone else has a severe allergic reaction.

Cystic acne

Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne and it requires immediate medical attention. It occurs when oil and dead skin cells build up deep down within hair follicles. This results in the formation of pus-filled pimples under the skin. It usually appears on the face because it has lots of oil glands, but you can also get cystic acne on your chest, back, neck, shoulder, butt, and upper arms. They are often painful and can cause scarring. Therefore, you should seek help from a dermatologist that can teach you how to manage and treat cystic acne.

Is there a cure for skin conditions?

Temporary skin conditions like blisters, sunburn, acne, rashes, itching, hives, and skin cyst, can be treated with medications or resolve with time. In contrast, long-lasting skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and vitiligo aren't curable, but they can be managed with lifestyle changes and drugs.

Why do people have skin conditions?

Any action or object that irritates, inflames, or clogs your skin can cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, burning, and redness. Allergies, genetic makeup, irritants, certain diseases, and immune system disorders can cause rashes, hives, and other skin conditions.4

The sun can cause sunburn and an increased risk of skin cancer. Certain conditions like  diabetes can also affect the skin.5

When should you be concerned about skin problems?

If your symptoms aren't painful, don't get worse, or if they look mild like a sunburn, time and proper care are usually all you need.

Here are some instances where you should seek medical help;


  • if the rash spreads quickly or breaks out over your whole body
  • if it's painful
  • if you have a fever
  • if the rash looks like blisters around your genitals, eyes, or mouth


  • if you have many breakouts
  • if it is painful
  • if home skin care and treatments haven't helped


  • if home remedies don't help
  • if you are experiencing a sudden itch all over your body
  • if you have a fever

These are just some instances. The best option is to get medical help immediately if you discover changes in your skin.

What are the different types of skin conditions?

There is a wide range of skin conditions, from those that clear off with time such as hives, and those that require lifestyle changes and medications, such as acne, to those that can only be managed for life, such as vitiligo.

Some of the most common types of skin conditions are acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, skin cancer, shingles, hives, sunburn, diaper rash, athlete's foot, and vitiligo.

What does hyperpigmentation look like on dark skin?

Hyperpigmentation on dark skin appears darker than the surrounding skin and looks like a patch or spot. Depending on the cause, it could be small or large.

What causes darkened skin patches?


Have you ever noticed an area of your skin darker than the surrounding skin that looks like a spot or patch? 

It is usually caused by the excess production of a skin pigment called "melanin" that gives the skin color, and it is called hyperpigmentation.

Wound healing, eczema, sun exposure, hormonal changes, and acne can all cause hyperpigmentation.

You can't always prevent hyperpigmentation, but you can protect yourself by using sunscreen and wearing hats that block sunlight.

What medical conditions cause dark spots?

Melasma: it is a skin condition that causes dark patches and spots usually on the face. It often appears on a woman's face during pregnancy or in women taking birth control pills, and for some women, it goes away after pregnancy or after they stop using birth control pills. Others, however, may need treatment.6

Diabetes-related acanthosis nigricans: It affects men and women of all ages and it is more common in people with type 2 diabetes. It presents as dark and velvety patches of skin, usually in the armpit, neck, and groin.

It is best managed with lifestyle changes such as weight reduction, dietary modifications, and increased physical activity.7

What do white patches on skin mean?

Different health conditions can cause white skin patches. A common example is vitiligo.

Vitiligo is caused by the lack of a pigment called melanin. It is not usually harmful, but it can occasionally be itchy.

The white patches are usually permanent although treatment options are available to reduce their appearance.

This resource from the National Health Service (NHS) provides more information about the treatment plans for vitiligo.8

Other causes of white patches on the skin are eczema and nutritional deficiencies (deficiencies in vitamin D, vitamin E, and calcium).

What cancer causes skin problems?

Skin cancer is cancer that starts in the skin. It is an uncontrolled growth of skin cells and it is the most common type of cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.9

Changes that occur on the skin as a result of skin cancer include bumps, scaly lesions, brown patches, and abnormal moles.


  1. Seth D, Cheldize K, Brown D, Freeman EF. Global burden of skin disease: inequities and innovations. Curr Dermatol Rep. 2017 Sep;6(3):204–10.
  2. What is a dermatologist? [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 17]. Available from:
  3. Types of skin cancer [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 17]. Available from:
  4. Skin conditions [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from:
  5. CDC. Diabetes and your skin [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from:
  6. Melasma: overview [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from:
  7. Labib A, Rosen J, Yosipovitch G. Skin manifestations of diabetes mellitus. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, Chrousos G, de Herder WW, Dhatariya K, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000 [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from:
  8. Vitiligo - treatment [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from:
  9. Skin cancer (Including melanoma)—patient version - nci [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from:

Faridah Ojulari

Bachelor of Pharmacy - BPharm, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ilorin

Faridah Ojulari is a Medical Writer and a Bachelor of Pharmacy undergraduate from Nigeria.

She has a burning passion for writing and providing credible medical and health information.

Over the years as a Pharmacy student and medical writer, she has developed strong research, management, and communication skills.

Faridah is an avid learner and has taken various certification courses including research writing in the sciences, content creation, digital marketing, and data analysis.
She strongly believes that the most important skill a person can have is communication. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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