Movies and the Skin

Albinism (pale skin and light eyes is often viewed as a sign of Evil)

  • -Da Vinci Code (2006): Silas is an albino (and has scarring and automutilation)
  • -Foul Play (1978): Whitey Jackson (William Frankfather) is an albino
  • -Horror of Dracula (1958): pale skin only
  • -Matrix Reloaded (2003): the agents hunting Mr Anderson (Keanu Reeves)



Signs of skin aging (elevated moles, wrinkles): often viewed as a sign of Evil

  • -Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938): The witch
  • -The Witches (1990): Angelina Huston as a witch



Scars: often viewed as a sign of Evil

  • -Austin Powers (1997) (Dr Evil): scar on the right cheek, but also alopecia
  • -Frankenstein (1931)
  • -Lion King (1994): The Lion named scar has a scar on left eye and is the uncle of Simba who killed his father
  • -Platoon (1986): Sergeant Barnes is the evil military and is scarred on the face. Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe) is doesn’t have scars  and is the kind military man.
  • -True Grit (2010): Josh Brolin has a gunpowder scar on left cheek



Tattoos when widespread are also viewed as a sign of Evil

  • -Cape Fear (1991): Robert de Niro carries multiple tattoos



Actors and skin diseases

Acne Rosacea

  • -Cameron Diaz



Acne Scarring

  • Brad Pitt
  • Edward James Olmos
  • Elizabeth Hurley
  • Mike Myers
  • Nicolas Cage



Adult Acne Vulgaris

  • Leonardo Di Caprio
  • Megan Fox
  • Will Smith



Melanocytic nevus: commonly named beauty spots they are so when flat-pigmented around areas such as mouth and eyes which are increases in size in youth. They are inattractive when they become elevated and loose their color

  • -Cindy Crawford: Above left mouth commissure
  • -Christian Bale: medial aspect of right eye
  • -Jean Harlow: Below the left mouth commissure. Gwen Stefani also did it when playing that character.
  • -Marilyn Monroe: Left nasogenial fold
  • -Sarah Jessica Parker: right side of the chin (had it removed when became elevated and skin colored)



Pale skin back in the trend (not a sign of Evil)

  • -Drew Barrymore
  • -Nicole Kidman
  • -Twilight: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart




  • -Brigitte Bardot
  • -Clint Eastwood
  • -Robert Redford



Port Wine Stain

  • Mikhail Gorbachev: Port Wine stain on scalp
  • Tina Turner: PWS on right arm (interpretated as a sign of abuse)




  • -George Walker Bush: signs of 5-fluorouracil treatment (actinic keratosis ?)
  • -Richard Gere: Lesion similar to Becker’s nevus on left scapula
  • -Ronald Reagan: signs of BCC + excision on tip of nose
  • -Mark Wahlberg (Fighter, 2010): accessory nipple under left nipple
  • -Mr T: CTCL (T cell lymphoma, Mycosis Fungoides)
  • -WC Fields: Rhinophyma



Accessory Nipple



Meanings of Skin diseases in movies for the dermatologist

  • -Black Swan (2010): Natalie portmann has neurotic excoriations because of her stress as a dancer
  • -Philadelphia (1993): Tom Hanks loses his job because of visible Kaposi’s Sarcoma
  • -The Motorcycle Diaries (2004): Che Guevara reaches out and shakes hands with leprosy patients in a leprosy mission.



Reese V. Dermatology and Cinema. 69th Annual Meeting of the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) – New Orleans, Louisiana, Unites States of America (USA)

Photo credit: wikipedia