Skin Thickening Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your skin thickening symptoms, including 5 causes & common questions.

  1. 5 Possible Skin Thickening Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

5 Possible Skin Thickening Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced skin thickening. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Solar (actinic) keratosis

Actinic keratosis, also known as solar keratosis, is the most common skin condition caused by sun damage over many years. It appears as small, rough, raised growths that may be hard and warty.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: unchanged face redness, rough skin on the face, thickened skin with a well-defined border

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that produces an itchy rash. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin's ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens. The most susceptible are those with a family hi...

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Skin Thickening Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your skin thickening

Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition in which areas of dark, velvety discoloration appear in body folds and creases, such as armpits, the groin area, and the neck area. The skin changes of acanthosis nigricans usually occur in people who have diabetes or are obese.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: skin that is darker than it used to be, darkened skin over the neck, constant skin changes

Symptoms that always occur with acanthosis nigricans: skin that is darker than it used to be

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis means a skin reaction that is caused by directly touching an irritating substance, and not by an infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus.

Common causes are soap, bleach, cleaning agents, chemicals, and even water. Almost any substance can cause it with prolonged exposure. Contact dermatitis is not contagious.

Anyone who works with an irritating substance can contract the condition. Mechanics, beauticians, housekeepers, restaurant workers, and health care providers are all susceptible.

Symptoms include skin that feels swollen, stiff, and dry, and becomes cracked and blistered with painful open sores.

A medical provider can give the best advice on how to heal the skin and avoid further irritation. Self-treatment can make the problem worse if the wrong creams or ointments are used.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, to find out what substances the patient comes into contact with, and through physical examination of the damaged skin.

Treatment involves avoiding the irritating substance if possible. Otherwise, the person can use petroleum jelly on the hands underneath cotton and then rubber gloves.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash

Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis: rash with well-defined border

Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment


Hypoparathyroidism is a condition in the parathyroid glands do not produce enough parathyroid hormone. This leads to low levels of calcium in the blood, which can cause both short-term and long-term symptoms. Causes of hypoparathyroidism include surgery or radiation to the neck, aut...

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Real-life Stories

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar. If you want to learn more, try Buoy Assistant.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Skin Thickening

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Is there a clear line between the thickened skin and the rest of your skin?
  • Do you have a rash?
  • What is your natural skin color?
  • Have you been on any prescription medications lately?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Skin Thickening Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your skin thickening

Skin Thickening Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced skin thickening have also experienced:

  • 7% Dry Skin
  • 5% Feeling Itchy Or Tingling All Over
  • 1% Weight Gain

People who have experienced skin thickening were most often matched with:

  • 37% Solar (Actinic) Keratosis
  • 37% Acanthosis Nigricans
  • 25% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

People who have experienced skin thickening had symptoms persist for:

  • 63% Over a month
  • 14% Less than a week
  • 8% Two weeks to a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Skin Thickening Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your skin thickening

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