Providing support and promoting respect for everyone with a visible difference

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Condition-specific information

Here, you can find out about specific conditions which can affect your appearance and learn what support is available to help you manage the impacts.


Acne is a common skin condition which causes spots and oiliness. It affects most people at some stage in their lives and can cause significant distress.


Amputation is the surgical removal of a body part such as a hand, arm, foot or leg. Reasons for needing an amputation vary from sustaining a serious injury to conditions like cancer or diabetes.

Bell's palsy

Bell’s palsy is caused by inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve, often leading to a facial droop on the affected side. It affects between 20 and 30 per 100,000 people every year.


A birthmark is a coloured mark on the skin which is present at birth or soon after. About one in three babies is born with some kind of birthmark.


Burns and scalds are damage to the skin caused by heat, hot water or chemicals. Many heal with minimal scarring, but deep wounds can cause long-term scars.

Cleft lip and palate

A gap in the upper lip or roof of the mouth, which occurs because the affected parts did not join together in the womb. About one in 700 are affected.


Eczema is a long-term skin condition which causes the skin to become dry, cracked and itchy. There are many types, the most common being "atopic eczema".

Hair loss (alopecia)

Hair loss (alopecia) can be a natural part of ageing or it can occur at an earlier age due to a range of factors. Some forms of hair loss are temporary while others may persist.

Head and neck cancer

A relatively rare form of cancer. Surgery or radiotherapy used to treat certain head and neck cancers sometimes lead to changes in your appearance.


Hyperpigmentation is when patches of skin become darker than the surrounding area. It is caused by a range of conditions as well as damage to the skin.


Hypopigmentation is when patches of skin become lighter than the surrounding area. It can be caused by skin conditions and sometimes follows healing.


Melasma is a skin condition affecting adults. It causes light to dark brown colouring in the affected areas, and may be more noticeable during winter.


Moles are marks on the skin caused by a build-up of the pigment cells which give skin its colour. They can be present from birth or appear later in life.


Neurofibromatosis is a set of three genetic conditions which cause tumours to grow along the nerves, and can cause a range of visible differences.


Psoriasis is an immune condition which causes patches to develop on the skin. There are different types of psoriasis, affecting different parts of the body.


Rosacea is a skin condition mainly affecting the face. It is characterised by redness in the affected areas, often beginning with excessive blushing.


A scar is a mark left on the skin after an injury has healed. Most fade but do not completely disappear, and some can remain noticeable for a long time.


Curvature of the spine which can affect anyone of any age. The curve of the spine may be noticeable or cause the rib cage or hip to stick out on one side or the shoulders to be uneven.


A skin condition which causes patches of the skin to lose their colour and appear white. It can affect anyone but tends to develop before the age of 40.

Condition-specific resources

Links to condition-specific organisations and other useful resources for people living with a visible difference, grouped to help you find what you need.