Top 10 Most Disturbing Skin Conditions


According to, your skin is the largest organ in your body in both weight and surface area. Your skin alone weighs between six and nine pounds and stretches about 2-square yards! Your skin plays an important part in protecting your body from harmful bacteria, infections and regulates your body temperature. Sometimes, your skin takes a beating from those bacteria, infections and other ailments. Some of these skin conditions are downright disturbing.

Below is a list of the top 10 most disturbing skin conditions:

10. Cellulite


Admittedly, cellulite is not dangerous, painful or even abnormal. However, many people, women especially, view cellulite as a gross skin condition. Many women spend millions of dollars each year to try to hide or banish cellulite from their body. In reality, cellulite is just fatty tissue beneath the skin. Although it does look unsightly, it is not harmful in anyway to your body.

9. Hypertrichosis, aka: Human Werewolf Syndrome


I suppose for most any prepubescent boy, the thought of being excessively hairy is quite appealing. Not so much for the few people who truly suffer from hypertrichosis. Werewolf Syndrome, as it is commonly referred to, is a medical condition where excessive hair grows in places on the body where most people do not normally grow hair, such as all over the face or over the entire body. This very rare condition is said to only have around 50 confirmed cases worldwide.

8. Skin Blisters

Skin Blisters

Bubbles on your skin that are filled with liquid, yes that is gross. Even more gross is when the blister pops open oozing the liquid out. Blisters can be as tiny as a pinhead or as large as a quarter. Most times, the blister will pop on it’s own and once the liquid is out, it can heal naturally over a few days time.

7. Acne


Maybe not the grossest of skin conditions when it is just one or two little pimples, but full-fledged acne can be pretty gross. Acne happens when your pores become clogged with dirt or oil and oxygen can’t get to the pore. The pore gets plugged and produces a whitehead or blackhead. Many pores can clog at once, causing acne. These clogged pores can be on your face, neck and even your back…that contributes to the “gross factor” significantly. The good news is, there are many acne treatments available and most of them are pretty effective. If you want to go with a series of expensive but very effective acne treatments, try the laser treatment. This is done professionally in a dermatologist office. If you don’t want to spend that kind of money, there are many lotions, creams and washes that will work as acne treatments, they just take a little more persistence.

6. Tungiasis


According to Wikipedia, other nicknames for this skin condition include, “Nigua,” “Pio and bicho de pie,” and “Pique” and occurs mostly in Africa, Central and South America, The Caribbean and India.Tungiasis is an infectious skin disease caused by a specific kind of flee that actually burrows under your skin and the female lays eggs, furthering your infestation. The tale-tale sign of Tungiasis is a black dot in the center of a bright red sore. Once this flee infestation gets into your skin, it must be surgically removed to prevent a sometimes fatal, secondary infection.

5. Elephantitis


The proper name is actually, Elephantiasis. Most people however, know this condition as, Elephantitis mostly because the symptoms make you swell up, well…like an elephant. Ok, maybe not exactly like an elephant, but pretty extreme. This condition can cause just your ankles, feet and hands to swell or it can affect every part of your body, yes EVERY part-yikes. Elephantiasis is caused by a roundworm parasite infection, which makes the ewww factor even more prevalent. The good news is Elephantiasis is treatable and eventually, curable.

4. Argyria


“Smurf Diease” is what Argyria is sometimes called because with this rare condition, your skin literally turns blue as a Smurf! Scientists believe this rare disorder comes from eating or ingesting silver. Now, most of us wouldn’t think to eat silver, so we should be safe. However, there is a product on the market that is said to be a “natural cure-all” for many diseases and illnesses called Colloidal Silver. There is even some substantial evidence that Colloidal Silver does work, however, too much of a good thing…is never a good thing. And the even worse news?…Argyria is permanent.

3. Human Pappiloma Virus

Human Pappiloma Virus

HPV is not just a “girl STD thing”, it can happen to guys too. Basically, HPV is usually transmitted through sexual contact of some kind and causes warts on the skin. Sometimes, the HPV spreads to the hands, feet and even the face. Over time, the warts usually go away on their own but not before the major ewwww factor has been repeated many times!…Perhaps that HPV vaccine isn’t such a bad idea after all!

2. Gangrene


A condition where, for a host of reasons, the blood supply is cut of from a part of the body, causing the tissue in your skin actually die. Gangrene can occur from an infection, illness or an injury to the affected area of the body. One of the treatments for Gangrene is, in my opinion, equally as gross as the condition itself: maggots. You read that right, maggots. Maggot therapy has been scientifically proven (how did they think to test maggots?!) to be an effective, non-surgical treatment in healing Gangrene. The maggots eat the dead and infected tissue and leave the healthy tissue. Also, maggots release a substance that kills bacteria, thus allowing new growth–who would have thought?

And the number one, most disturbing skin condition is……

1. Leprosy


A chronic disease that is caused by a specific bacteria, that has a really big name on Wikipedia, that leaves a person stricken with big, nasty sores all over their body, including eyelids, ears and even their throat. If left untreated, Leprosy can cause nerve damage, permanent skin damage and even permanent damage to the eyes. There is treatment available for Leprosy but it can take many doses and many months to recover, and a full recovery, without some permanent damage is not promised.

This piece was contributed to us by the wonderful people at

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  1. I had eczema, I’d place it at number 5 at least on this list.

    Though I don’t think you’ve heard of re-vitiligo.
    If you didn’t go ask uncle ruckus (no relation)
    *troll face*

  2. Right, right. Very entertaining. But overlooking the grammatical and factual errors in this article, I have to point out the absence of psoriasis. And before anyone loses their damn minds and insists on correcting me, I know it’s an auto-immune deficiency that cause the over production of skin cells. So in all fairness it’s not technically a skin disease. But I CAN tell you, I’ve struggled with it my entire life. And as anyone who has had to deal with it will tell you, it’s much more ” Disturbing” then a couple things on this list, especially acne. Acne is easily treatable, where as Psoriasis is perminant as of now. Also, Cellulite and skin blisters do not even remotely compare to the inconvenience, annoyance, and potential pain that comes along with psoriasis. As far as Argyria goes, I’d never heard of it until reading this, and though there is no cure, it sounds to me as if it is completely avoidable. Psoriasis is hereditary, and can be exacerbated by many things: Lack of Vitamin D, eating red meat or anything with red food dye, lack of sunlight, or UV rays, cold weather, etc. Much, Much more uncomfortable, and humiliating than acne, and if cellulite made the list, I’m quite upset that psoriasis did not. Especially since cellulite can be eradicated by something called “Exercise”, or “Lack of laziness”.

    • Heavens_Joke on

      I appreciate what you are saying and agree with you about psoriasis. Cellulite should definitely not be on this list because it is neither disturbing, nor a “skin condition”, technically. However, your assertion that “…cellulite can be eradicated by something called ‘Exercise’, or ‘Lack of laziness’.”, while grammatically incorrect is also factually incorrect. Cellulite can occur in even the most active, thin people as well as inactive and/or overweight people. And while there are ways to help prevent it, such as strength training, in most cases the only way to get rid of it is through liposuction and skin tightening procedures.

  3. While I can certainly acknowledge that this article was not meant to inform, but to entertain, I have to agree with several of the previous comments. Not only was this article CLEARLY not researched very well (ex: Elephantiasis is NOT a skin condition, it is a lymphatic disorder with different causes), it was riddled with spelling and gramatical mistakes. For the sake of entertainment, I can suspend logic to a certain extent and overlook such short comings in factual correctness. But in this day and age, with spell check and grammar check, that just points to laziness. At the very least, have someone else look it over before you post it.
    Oh, and by the way:
    FLEE: to run away
    FLEA: a small, bloodsucking, leaping insect

  4. Another error: elephantiasis is NOT caused by a “ringworm parasite”, but rather a parasitic ROUNDworm. RINGworm is a fungal infection (and I’m surprised THAT didn’t make it on the list…)

  5. I usually never do this, don’t see the point in criticizing other people’s work, but, really? Waht an awful, misspelled, badly researches, unsympathetic and boring article.

  6. Many of these are not skin conditions, properly speaking, but rather diseases which can affect the skin. I think this is a poorly informed and badly written list. The author clearly does not know what he or she is talking about. Don’t quit your day job.

  7. This annoyed me, not least because of the repeated use of ‘gross’ as an adjective which, in the most pedantic sense, was always used incorrectly regardless of which definition one applies.

    Entry 9: Hypertrichosis does mean that ‘excessive hair grows in places on the body where most people do not normally grow hair’. We are all covered in hair except on the palms of our hands or soles of our feet. Sufferers of hypertrichosis grow long, thick hairs, as one would normally grow on ones head, on parts of the body normally covered in very short, fine hairs.

    Entry 8: Blisters are not a skin condition. Blisters are the product of any number of causes, from friction to eczema (which, for some reason, was omitted from the list).

    Entry 7: The picture does not depict acne. That is just a zit on a the face of a person with an otherwise very clear complexion. I would have thought the good people at would have known that.

    Entry 4: Who on earth refers to Argyria as ‘Smurf disease’? The condition is so rare that I struggle to understand why such a base colloquialism would be necessary. I get the impression it’s only known as ‘Smurf disease’ by the writers of the article.

    Entry 1: Leprosy is not a skin condition. It is a disease of the respiratory tract. The effects it has on the skin are the result of the human immune system damaging peripheral nerves as it attempts to rid the body of the infection.

    It’s not difficult to research things properly. It takes a matter of seconds. If a reader who is not a dermatologist can find factual inaccuracies in an article read first thing in the morning, it’s not been written properly. I know the article’s intended audience is a general one, and it was written in an engaging and accessible style, which is appealing, but factual accuracy is absolutely vital if the article is to serve any purpose at all.

    • I agree with you Bluetooth.
      In my opinion, problem here is that most of people does not know difference between primary disease, symptom, syndrome, and sequelae, and that is why they make these mistakes.
      Greetings from Serbia!

    • I actually enjoyed it Beteltooth. Clearly this is meant to entertain and not to be an in depth article from webmd. I say have fun with it, I know I did!

      • I hate to be so blatant, but the author probably only googled these “skin conditions” and stopped at anything that looked out of the ordinary.

        1) Acne Vulgaris does not comprise of one zit but the continuous development of many.
        2) Leprosy is indeed NOT a “skin condition”
        3) I admit I have never heard of Argyria, but this “smurf disease” sounds like a writer’s liberty to add creativity to the entry.
        4) Hypertrichosis is much more of a genetic disorder than skin disorder.

        I could continue, but I acknowledge that this is an article founded under entertainment, not information. However, just know that these are only one of hundreds of different conditions that afflict the miniority. Studying medicine and then reading this is a bit aggravating when you see “Top 10 -Most- Disturbing Skin Conditions.

        You really want to see a “disturbing” skin condition? Google Harlequin Ichthyosis

        • Heavens_Joke on

          Thaaaaank you! I was going to say the same thing. I expected Harlequin Ichthyosis to be #1 on this list. That is BY FAR the most disturbing skin disease, in my opinion. Those poor children 🙁

          But on top of that, I think the term “disturbing” is used REALLY loosely in this article. I mean, come on, cellulite?! That isn’t by any standards disturbing, nor would I really consider that a “condition”. It’s like having wrinkles.

          This article is completely bonkers. I am really disappointed TopTenz, really disappointed.

    • Betel,

      Clearly you are missing the intent of these lists. This is purely for entertainment, and I am sure that your Dermatology Degree can contradict most everything on this website related to Derm. But as a Dermatology tech myself, I find entries like this purely entertaining and read them with an open mind. Maybe next time you need to submit a Top Ten list for them to publish on Dermatology.

      Dont keep us waiting!

  8. medical accident on

    Horrible to see these all diseases.
    I don’t know how these people would feel by having these diseases.
    There mush be a good treatment for them.