A. What skin disorders do we evaluate with these listings?
We use these listings to evaluate skin disorders that may result from hereditary, congenital, or acquired
pathological processes. The kinds of impairments covered by these listings are: Ichthyosis, bullous diseases, chronic infections
of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.
B. What documentation do we need?
When we evaluate the existence and severity of your skin disorder,
we generally need information about the onset, duration, frequency of flare-ups, and prognosis of your skin disorder; the
location, size, and appearance of lesions; and, when applicable, history of exposure to toxins, allergens, or irritants, familial
incidence, seasonal variation, stress factors, and your ability to function outside of a highly protective environment. To
confirm the diagnosis, we may need laboratory findings (for example, results of a biopsy obtained independently of Social
Security disability evaluation or blood tests) or evidence from other medically acceptable methods consistent with the prevailing
state of medical knowledge and clinical practice.
C. How do we assess the severity of your skin disorders(s)?
We generally base our assessment of severity on the extent of your skin lesions, the frequency of flare-ups
of your skin lesions, how your symptoms (including pain) limit you, the extent of your treatment, and how your treatment affects
1. Extensive skin lesions.
Extensive skin lesions
are those that involve multiple body sites or critical body areas, and result in a very serious limitation. Examples of extensive
skin lesions that result in a very serious limitation include but are not limited to:
Skin lesions that interfere with the motion of your joints and that very seriously limit your use of more than one extremity;
that is, two upper extremities, two lower extremities, or one upper and one lower extremity.
Skin lesions on the palms of both hands that very seriously limit your ability to do fine and gross motor movements.
c. Skin lesions on the soles of both feet, the perineum, and both inguinal areas that very
seriously limit your ability to ambulate.
2. Frequency of flare-ups.
If you have skin lesions, but they do not meet the requirements of any of the listings in this body system, you may
still have an impairment that results in marked and severe functional limitations when we consider your condition over time,
especially if your flare-ups result in extensive skin lesions, as defined in C1 of this section. Therefore, if you have frequent
flare-ups, we may find that your impairment(s) is medically equal to one of these listings even though you have some periods
during which your condition is in remission. We will consider how frequent and serious your flare-ups are, how quickly they
resolve, and how you function between flare-ups to determine whether you have marked and severe functional limitations that
have lasted for a continuous period of at least 12 months or that can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least
12 months. We will also consider the frequency of your flare-ups when we determine whether you have a severe impairment and
when we need to assess functional equivalence.
3. Symptoms (including pain).
Symptoms (including pain) may be important factors contributing to the severity of your skin disorder(s). We assess
the impact of symptoms as explained in §§ 404.1528, 404.1529, 416.928, and 416.929 of this chapter.
We assess the effects of medication, therapy, surgery, and any other form
of treatment you receive when we determine the severity and duration of your impairment(s). Skin disorders frequently respond
to treatment; however, response to treatment can vary widely, with some impairments becoming resistant to treatment. Some
treatments can have side effects that can in themselves result in limitations.
We assess the effects of continuing treatment as prescribed by determining if there is improvement in the symptoms, signs,
and laboratory findings of your disorder, and if you experience side effects that result in functional limitations. To assess
the effects of your treatment, we may need information about:
treatment you have been prescribed (for example, the type, dosage, method and frequency of administration of medication or
ii. Your response to the treatment;
Any adverse effects of the treatment; and
iv. The expected duration of the treatment.
b. Because treatment itself or the effects of treatment may be temporary, in most cases sufficient time must
elapse to allow us to evaluate the impact and expected duration of treatment and its side effects. Except under 108.07 and
108.08, you must follow continuing treatment as prescribed for at least 3 months before your impairment can be determined
to meet the requirements of a skin disorder listing. (See 108.00H if you are not undergoing treatment or did not have treatment
for 3 months.) We consider your specific response to treatment when we evaluate the overall severity of your impairment.
D. How do we assess impairments that may affect the skin and other body systems?
When your impairment affects your skin and has effects in other body systems, we first evaluate the predominant
feature of your impairment under the appropriate body system. Examples include, but are not limited to the following.
1. Tuberous sclerosis primarily affects the brain. The predominant features are
seizures, which we evaluate under the neurological listings in 111.00, and developmental delays or other mental disorders,
which we evaluate under the mental disorders listings in 112.00.
tumors of the skin (for example, malignant melanoma) are cancers, or neoplastic diseases, which we evaluate under the
listings in 113.00.
3. Connective tissue disorders and other immune system disorders
(for example, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and Sjögren's
syndrome) often involve more than one body system. We first evaluate these disorders under the immune system listings in 114.00.
We evaluate lupus erythematosus under 114.02, scleroderma under 114.04, symptomatic HIV infection under 114.08, and Sjögren's
syndrome under 114.03, 114.09, or any other appropriate listing in section 114.00.
Disfigurement or deformity resulting from skin lesions may result in loss of sight, hearing, speech, and the ability
to chew (mastication). We evaluate these impairments and their effects under the special senses and speech listings in 102.00
and the digestive system listings in 105.00. Facial
disfigurement or other physical deformities may also have effects
we evaluate under the mental disorders listings in 112.00, such as when they affect mood or social functioning.
5. We evaluate erythropoietic porphyries under the hemic and lymphatic listings in 107.00.
6. We evaluate hemangiomas associated with thrombocytopenia and hemorrhage (for example, Kasabach-Merritt
syndrome) involving coagulation defects, under the hemic and lymphatic listings in 107.00. But, when hemangiomas impinge on
vital structures or interfere with function, we evaluate their primary effects under the appropriate body system.
E. How do we evaluate photosensitivity disorders?
1. Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP).
When you have XP, your impairment meets the requirements of
108.07A if you have clinical and laboratory findings showing that you have the disorder. (See 108.00E3.) People who have XP
have a lifelong hypersensitivity to all forms of ultraviolet light and generally lead extremely restricted lives in highly
protective environments in order to prevent skin cancers from developing. Some people with XP also experience problems with
their eyes, neurological problems, mental disorders, and problems in other body systems.
Other genetic photosensitivity disorders.
Other genetic photosensitivity disorders may vary in their
effects on different people, and may not result in marked and severe functional limitations for a continuous period of at
least 12 months. Therefore, if you have a genetic photosensitivity disorder other than XP (established by clinical and laboratory
findings as described in 108.00E3), you must show that you have either extensive skin lesions or an inability to function
outside of a highly protective environment to meet the requirements of 108.07B. You must also show that your impairment meets
the duration requirement. By inability to function outside of a highly protective environment we mean that you must
avoid exposure to ultraviolet light (including sunlight passing through windows and light from unshielded fluorescent bulbs),
wear protective clothing and eyeglasses, and use opaque broad-spectrum sunscreens in order to avoid skin cancer or other serious
effects. Some genetic photosensitivity disorders can have very serious effects in other body systems, especially special senses
and speech (102.00), neurological (111.00), mental (112.00), and neoplastic (113.00). We will evaluate the predominant feature
of your impairment under the appropriate body system, as explained in 108.00D.
3. Clinical and laboratory findings.
a. General. We need documentation from an acceptable medical source, as defined in §§404.1513(a)
and 416.913(a), to establish that you have a medically determinable impairment. In general, we must have evidence of appropriate
laboratory testing showing that you have XP or another genetic photosensitivity disorder. We will find that you have XP or
another genetic photosensitivity disorder based on a report from an acceptable medical source indicating that you have the
impairment, supported by definitive genetic laboratory studies documenting appropriate chromosomal changes, including abnormal
DNA repair or another DNA or genetic abnormality specific to your type of photosensitivity disorder.
b. What we will accept as medical evidence instead of the actual laboratory report. When we do not have
the actual laboratory report, we need evidence from an acceptable medical source that includes appropriate clinical findings
for your impairment and that is persuasive that a positive diagnosis has been confirmed by appropriate laboratory testing
at some time prior to our evaluation. To be persuasive, the report must state that the appropriate definitive genetic laboratory
study was conducted and that the results confirmed the diagnosis. The report must be consistent with other evidence in your
F. How do we evaluate burns?
or thermal burns frequently affect other body systems; for example, musculoskeletal, special senses and speech, respiratory,
cardiovascular, renal, neurological, or mental. Consequently, we evaluate burns the way we evaluate other disorders that can
affect the skin and other body systems, using the listing for the predominant feature of your impairment. For example, if
your soft tissue injuries are under continuing surgical management (as defined in 101.00M), we will evaluate your impairment
under 101.08. However, if your burns do not meet the requirements of 101.08 and you have extensive skin lesions that result
in a very serious limitation (as defined in 108.00C1) that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of
at least 12 months, we will evaluate them under 108.08.
G. How do we determine
if your skin disorder(s) will continue at a disabling level of severity in order to meet the duration requirement?
For all of these skin disorder listings except 108.07 and 108.08, we will find that your impairment meets the duration
requirement if your skin disorder results in extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing
treatment as prescribed. By persist, we mean that the longitudinal clinical record shows that, with few exceptions, your lesions
have been at the level of severity specified in the listing. For 108.07A, we will presume that you meet the duration requirement.
For 108.07B and 108.08, we will consider all of the relevant medical and other information in your case record to determine
whether your skin disorder meets the duration requirement.
H. How do we assess
your skin disorder(s) if your impairment does not meet the requirements of one of these listings?
1. These listings are only examples of common skin disorders that we consider severe enough to result in marked
and severe functional limitations. For most of these listings, if you do not have continuing treatment as prescribed, if your
treatment has not lasted for at least 3 months, or if you do not have extensive skin lesions that have persisted for at least
3 months, your impairment cannot meet the requirements of these skin disorder listings. (This provision does not apply to
108.07 and 108.08.) However, we may still find that you are disabled because your impairment(s) meets the requirements of
a listing in another body system, medically equals (see §§ 404.1526 and 416.926 of this chapter) the severity of
a listing, or functionally equals the severity of the listings.
2. If you have not
received ongoing treatment or do not have an ongoing relationship with the medical community despite the existence of a severe
impairment(s), or if your skin lesions have not persisted for at least 3 months but you are undergoing continuing treatment
as prescribed, you may still have an impairment(s) that meets a listing in another body system or that medically equals a
listing. If you do not have an impairment(s) that meets or medically equals a listing, we will consider whether your impairment(s)
functionally equals the listings. (See § 416.924 of this chapter.) When we decide whether you continue to be disabled,
we use the rules in § 416.994a of this chapter.
108.01 Category of Impairments, Skin Disorders
108.02 Ichthyosis, with extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite
continuing treatment as prescribed.
108.03 Bullous disease (for example, pemphigus, erythema multiforme bullosum, epidermolysis
bullosa, bullous pemphigoid, dermatitis herpetiformis), with extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite
continuing treatment as prescribed.
108.04 Chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, with extensive fungating or extensive ulcerating
skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.
108.05 Dermatitis (for example, psoriasis, dyshidrosis, atopic dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis,
allergic contact dermatitis), with extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment
108.06 Hidradenitis suppurativa, with extensive skin lesions involving both axillae, both
inguinal areas, or the perineum that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.
108.07 Genetic photosensitivity disorders, established as described in 108.00E.
A. Xeroderma pigmentosum. Consider the individual disabled from birth.
Other genetic photosensitivity disorders, with:
1. Extensive skin lesions that have
lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months,
2. Inability to function outside of a highly protective environment for a continuous period
of at least 12 months (see 108.00E2).
108.08 Burns, with extensive skin lesions that have lasted or can be expected to last for
a continuous period of at least 12 months. (See 108.00F).