Skin Diseases, Rashes, and Conditions

The Facts

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Its role is to protect the body from foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses that can cause infections, regulate body temperature, and help sense the external world (e.g., it can sense heat, cold, touch, and pain).

Skin conditions can range from mild to severe. Skin rashes, for example, can mean a mild allergic reaction to a plant, like in poison ivy, to a severe, life-threatening reaction to medication (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome), where the rash is painful, spreads, and forms blisters.

Skin diseases and conditions include:

  • acne (inflammation of the skin that causes blackheads, whiteheads, and red spots usually called "pimples" or "zits")
  • actinic keratosis (precancerous lesion that forms on sun-damaged skin)
  • athlete’s foot (common skin infection that affects the feet, caused by fungi)
  • contact dermatitis (a condition with symptoms of skin rash, redness, inflammation caused by direct contact with a substance)
  • diaper rash (an area of inflamed skin found in the diaper area in infants and young children, usually caused by skin irritation from prolonged contact with urine and feces)
  • dry skin
  • eczema (a group of skin conditions that cause inflammation of the skin)
  • hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
  • psoriasis (an inflammatory skin disease that affects the life cycle of skin cells)
  • rosacea (a chronic skin condition in which the facial skin appears red)
  • sunburn
  • warts (small growths on the skin caused by a virus known as human papillomavirus)


Read more about different skin conditions and skin diseases by clicking on the links below.