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INTRODUCTION

The face is the area of the body most exposed to sunlight and therefore at highest risk for ultraviolet (UV) light induced dermatoses (photodermatoses), photoaging, and skin cancers. The face also has the highest density of sebaceous glands, predisposing this area to conditions such as acne, rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis. Inflammation around the hair follicles may lead to skin diseases such as folliculitis and pseudofolliculitis barbae. In addition, skin diseases involving mucous membranes will typically affect the eyes, nose, and mouth. Since the face is so critical to non-verbal communication and social interactions, skin diseases involving this area can cause a significant degree of emotional distress.

APPROACH TO DIAGNOSIS

Skin diseases involving the face can be broadly placed into the following categories starting with the most common diseases (Table 36-1):

  • Pilosebaceous disorders

  • Inflammatory dermatoses

  • Infectious diseases

  • Pigment disorders

  • Ultraviolet induced photodermatoses

  • Connective tissue diseases

Table 36-1.Differential diagnosis for diseases of the face.

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