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Skin diseases and conditions in darker skin tones

How a skin disease or condition affects you can vary with your skin tone. Here you’ll get insight from dermatologists about some skin conditions that affect people with darker skin tones, either more frequently or more severely.

Young woman talking with her dermatologist
Acanthosis nigricans

If you have thickening, darker skin on your armpits, neck, or groin, you may have this skin condition. It won’t harm you, but it can be a sign of a serious medical condition like diabetes.

Black man reaching to scratch the back of his neck
Acne keloidalis nuchae

If you have what feels like razor bumps or acne on the back of your neck or scalp, you may have acne keloidalis nuchae. Find out what can help.

Mother comforting daughter who has painful hidradenitis suppurativa
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)

Causing deep, painful lumps under the skin, HS can be mistaken for acne, an STD, or boils. Getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment from a dermatologist can prevent HS from worsening.

Man scratching itchy skin with keloid

A keloid is a raised scar that grows larger than the wound that caused it. Find out what may stop this scar from growing larger, and possibly prevent it.

Woman showing dermatologist how lupus affects her skin
Lupus and your skin

Lupus can affect the skin in many ways. Here you’ll see different types of rashes it can cause and find skin care tips that dermatologists give their patients who have lupus.

Woman checking her foot for signs of melanoma
Melanoma: How to find it on your foot

For people of African or Asian ethnicity, the feet and hands are the most common places to develop melanoma, the most serious skin cancer. Find out how to check your feet so that you can find melanoma early when it’s highly treatable.

Woman placing her hands on the tops of her feet so that she can see all of her nails
Melanoma: How to check your nails

While anyone can develop this skin cancer under a nail, it’s more common in people who have darker skin tones. This short video shows you what to look for.

Woman looking into mirror touching her face
Rosacea develops in darker skin tones

Does your face often burn or sting? Do you have acne that just won’t go away no matter what you treat it with? Is your face frequently warm? You may have rosacea.

Women sitting on couch writing her symptoms in a notebook
Sarcoidosis and your skin

This disease causes growths called granulomas, which can develop on the skin, inside the body, or both. In the United States, Black women have the highest risk of developing sarcoidosis.

Grandmother kissing her infant grandson
Seborrheic dermatitis common on Black skin

Seborrheic dermatitis is often described as a red rash. But on darker skin tones, the rash tends to be pink, purplish, or white. Knowing what to look for can help you find this rash early when treatment can prevent dark spots from developing.

Looking at how skin cancer can appear on darker skin tones
Skin cancer

People of all colors get skin cancer. This information can help you find skin cancer early when it’s highly treatable.

Close-up of hands with vitiligo

This condition causes the skin to lose its natural color and is more noticeable in darker skin tones. There is currently no cure, but treatment can help restore lost skin color.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges support from the following companies:

Abbvie logo
Amgen logo
Bristol Myers Squibb logo
ortho dermatologics logo
Pfizer logo
Sanofi Regeneron logo