Skin Problems Related to Obesity

Being overweight (obesity) may cause skin problems due to several factors. Changes in hormones may cause acanthosis nigricans, which are darkened, velvety areas of the neck and body folds, while stretching of the skin may result in stretch marks (striae). Increased strain on the leg veins may cause fluid retention, leg swelling, rupture of superficial capillaries (capillaritis), varicose veins, dermatitis, and even ulcers. Retained moisture in body folds encourages the growth of bacteria and fungi, leading to skin rashes and potential breakdown and a variety of infections, such as intertrigo. Finally, the foot may develop corns and calluses due to the increased weight. Many of these skin problems will resolve with a healthy diet and subsequent weight loss.

Click any of the images below to gain medical information about what skin changes are common in obesity.