Craziest Skin Conditions Your Dermatologist has Ever Seen

skin conditions

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and as such, there is no limit to the crazy skin conditions that can occur. Similarly, there seems to be no limit to the crazy things people do to their skin. In the article “21 Crazy Things Your Dermatologist Has Seen,” Prevention magazine surveyed multiple dermatologists to collect the “strangest, most out-there things derms have seen or been asked to do.”


Self tanner is not the only thing that can turn skin orange. This dermatologist shares an experience that illustrates you really “are what you eat:”

“More than once over the years, I’ve seen patients come in looking orange. Usually they’ve gone on juicing programs that require eating a lot of carrots, which turns their skin orange—a condition called carotenemia. The color fades over time when they decrease the carrot juice.”
–Rebecca Baxt, MD, dermatologist at Baxt CosMedical, Paramus, NJ

Related: The perfect spray tan: Tips for making a fake tan look natural

Carrots are not the only thing you can consume that will change your skin a different color. This NYC dermatologist describes a patient suffering from Argyria, an extremely rare skin condition:

“A patient came in and he was completely blue from head to toe. He had been drinking an elixir made of colloidal silver in order to keep from getting sick. Despite his blue appearance, he was thrilled that he hadn’t had a cold in 15 years!”
–Dendy Engelman, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Metropolitan Hospital, New York City


All dermatologists take the Hippocratic Oath, where the physician vows that they will “utterly reject harm and mischief” Sometimes, as seen in these anecdotes, that requires derms to persuade their patients away of harming themselves:

“One lady looked at my tool for pore extractions and asked if she could buy one from us. I told her no because she would wreck her face with it—it’s aggressive! So 3 weeks later, she comes back with scabs, scars, and marks all over her face. Sheepishly, she hands back the tool, which she had stolen from my drawer, announcing that I was right and to now fix her.”

–Karin Sanson, MD, cosmetic dermatologist based in Santa Monica, CA

Laser hair removal can remove unwanted body hair from head to toe, but some people want to remove every hair, like this patient:

“One patient wanted me to use laser hair removal to take off her eyebrows completely so she could pencil them in. I won’t do that because there will always be some regret about not having real eyebrows!” (Here’s how to shape perfect eyebrows.)
–Elizabeth Tanzi, MD

Cosmetic injections lead the industry in being the most popular cosmetic procedure that is non-invasive. Additionally, the numerous benefits of Botox, besides anti-aging skincare, are incredible. This patient however, wanted a cosmetic injection for a rather unusual off label use.

“A cosmetic junkie pleaded with me to put filler in the tips of her middle three toes on one foot so they would better match the appearance of toes on her other foot.”
–Neal Schultz, MD, Manhattan dermatologist


Prevention magazine highlighted an experience from SKINNEY Medspa’s dermatologist, DR. Hadley King:

“A man complained of dry skin on his feet and lower legs, so I recommended containing urea, which would exfoliate and moisturize at the same time. When he returned to the office a few months later, he told me that the cream was too expensive so he had instead been soaking his feet in a bucket of his own urine. He was pleased with the results. Urine does contain urea, but I would not necessarily recommend this approach!”
–Hadley King, MD, board-certified dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa in Manhattan


Protecting yourself from sun exposure is skincare 101, especially if you want to avoid age related skin conditions, but the cause for this patient’s “sun spots” is surprising:

“I’ve had people come in panicked about random brown spots on their bodies after vacation—sometimes in the form of a handprint! The condition, called phytophotodermatitis, comes from drinking something with lime juice, touching the lime, and then touching the body. The lime and the sun create a reaction that causes hyperpigmentation of the skin. It fades over time.”
–Rebecca Baxt, MD

Related: How to diminish sun spots


These are only a few of the crazy stories dermatologists shared with Prevention Magazine. Click here for the full article.

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