Common and Unusual Skin Conditions That Could Signal Internal Issues

Your skin often serves as your body’s “check engine light,” and just like the illuminated icon that you’d find in your vehicle’s dashboard, any change to the status quo can be alarming. Being the largest organ of the human body, the most diminutive of skin affliction can signal a more significant concern.

These diseases and conditions range from conventional and treatable to in need of necessary medical intervention, so for peace of mind, contact a board-certified medical professional with any concerns of these common and rare diseases.

Unusual Rashes:

Rashes that are unresponsive to treatment tend to flag internal medical matters. Usually, the new, distinctive rash would that are accompanied by muscle aches, fever, joint pain. Allergic reactions to new medications can also cause a rash to flare up.

A butterfly-shaped rash across the face may be a symptom of immune system disorder, Lupus. Your immune cells attack your body’s healthy tissues, which could cause inflammation and organ damage.

The inflammatory muscle disease, Dermatomyositis can trigger noticeable violet-hued skin rashes to parts of the body exposed to sunlight; this can be symptomatic of some internal cancers or chronic muscle weakness.

Skin Texture Variations:

Itchy skin that persists over a few weeks can be a manifestation of an underlying ailment. Possible internal conditions for sustained itchy skin include; nerve disorders, shingles, liver disease, thyroid problems, kidney failure, iron deficiency, and lymphoma, to name a few.

Lichen planus is another condition that may itch; it’s a series of purplish flat-topped rashes that appear on the ankles and wrists that are common with a Hepatitis C diagnosis.

In what can often be mistaken for bruising, Erythema nodosum occurs in the fatty layer of skin. It results in reddish, tender and often painful lumps located below the knees; they’re inflamed intermittently for weeks, then flatten, giving a bruised look. The underlying issues can be strep throat to inflammatory bowel diseases like Chrons.

Rigid and velvety-white lesions in the folds of the hand frequently point towards an illness called Tripe Palm. Resembling boiled tripe, a high percentage of cases are cancerous.

Discoloration of the Skin:

Typically occurring in obese people or those who have type 2 Diabetes, Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin infirmity characterized by sections of dark, velvety discoloration found in the skin’s creases and body folds, such as the neck, armpit, and groin.

If your skin is yellow in appearance, your red blood cells may be breaking down, causing the yellow chemical excreted in bile, bilirubin, to build up. Cirrhosis or other liver diseases are associated with a patient’s skin to turning jaundice.

Abnormal Growths.

An unevenly bordered, asymmetrical, off-colored mole that develops in size quickly demands early detection and response as a Melanoma diagnosis, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is often the case. Pain, swelling, crusting, bleeding, oozing, and open sores signal that a potentially atypical mole is melanoma-triggered one.

An adrenal gland related disease called Cushing Syndrome is when there’s an overabundance of the stress hormone, cortisol. A fatty hump may develop between the shoulder blades.

Hair and Nails Change.

Thyroid dysfunction has a revealing symptom of accelerated hair thinning or loss. Both an overactive or hyperactive thyroid can lead to hair loss.

A variation in the appearance or color of nails may signal an organ deficiency or system concern. Fungal infections and joint pain linked to psoriatic arthritis can indicate a more profound affair than a topical issue, in addition to, kidney damage can cause changes in the nails stasis.


When deciphering if any difference in your skin’s natural exterior is that of a deeper seeded issue, one should differ to a dermatologist’s judgment, however, consider these signals as calls to action with a reminder that most skin ailments are treatable and not severe medical problems

A little about me:

I’m a patient-centric dermatologist and founder of Treasure Coast Dermatology operating out of Florida with multiple locations. Practicing for more than 20 years, I put the focus on the medical side of dermatology of the spectrum rather than cost-prohibitive procedures of cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology.

I’m a fellow of; the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Dermatologic Surgery, and the American Society for Mohs Surgery, the American Medical Association, the Florida Society of Dermatology and is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology.

Treasure Coast Dermatology is a leader in the treatment of skin cancer by Mohs Micrographic surgery.

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