Faces of evil: Skin conditions of the worst movie villains

  • While The Incredible Hulk's nemesis, The Abomination, didn't make it into the list of top 10 villains of film, like many of them, he has some skin issues -- including baldness and skin discoloration -- say researchers from the University of Texas. Films can prejudice the public against nice people who suffer from skin problems, they said. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

    Warty noses, deep wrinkles, discoloration and facial scars -- if everyone had as many skin problems as movie villains, dermatologists would be booked out years in advance.

    Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, looked closely at images of the American Film Institute's 10 greatest film villains and heroes of all time and documented everything from facial warts and hair loss to scars and wrinkles to see which group suffered from more dermatological problems. It's easy to guess which group won out in their study, published in the medical journal JAMA Dermatology.

    "What we did see in this study is that Hollywood film villains have a higher incidence of skin disease than film heroes," study author Dr. Julia Croley, a resident physician in dermatology, told CBS News. She said these images have the unfortunate effect of associating skin disease with being evil.

    It's not a fair portrayal, Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News.

    "It doesn't translate to real life. It's an exaggeration. There's zero correlation in real life to what you see in the movies," Day said, adding that she has the sweetest patients who suffer from life-altering skin issues such as cancer scarring on the face.

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    Mary Brophy Marcus covers health and wellness for CBSNews.com