Facial Differences

More than two million people in Canada are living with a facial difference. A person with a facial difference refers to anyone whose appearance, from the neck or above, has been affected by a congenital (from birth), acquired (after birth), or episodic (comes and goes) condition or syndrome.

Below we have provided a list of facial differences. Please note, this list is not exhaustive, is not formal medical advice and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment purposes. The list is searchable by categories; some conditions may appear in more than one category.

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Acne can affect people from ages 10 through 40 years and up. Acne can show up as any of the following: congested pores, whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules or cysts (deep pimples). These blemishes occur wherever there are many oil (sebaceous) glands, mainly on the face, chest and back.

Adam’s Oliver Syndrome

Adam’s Oliver Syndrome is a rare disease characterized by abnormal skin development (areas of missing skin on the scalp called Aplasia Cutis Congenita) and malformations of the hands and feet. The aplasia cutis may involve only the skin or include the skull under the skin. Severity can vary greatly among people with the syndrome.


Albinism is a group of inherited disorders that results in little or no production of the pigment melanin, which determines the color of the skin, hair and eyes. Melanin also plays a role in the development of certain optical nerves, so all forms of albinism cause problems with the development and function of the eyes.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a skin disease that can affect all hair-bearing skin and is characterized by localized area of non-scarring alopecia. It is occasionally associated with other medical problems. Most often these bald areas regrow their hair spontaneously.

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia Totalis is the loss of all skull and facial hair.  Its causes are unclear, but believed to be automimmune.

Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia universalis (AU) is a condition characterized by the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body.  It is an advanced form of alopecia areata.


Anophthalmia is a medical term that refers to the globe and eye tissue being absent from the orbit(s).


Absence of the ear.

Apert Syndrome

Apert syndrome is a genetic disorder that is characterized by an abnormally shaped skull, widely spaced eyes, abnormal protrusion of the eyes, underdevelopment of the mid-face and a narrow roof of the mouth. Malformations of the hands and feet are also commonly seen with this condition.

Aplasia Cutis Congenita

Aplasia Cutis Congenita is a rare condition in which there is an absence of skin at birth, with or without the absence of underlying structures such as bone. It most commonly affects the scalp, but any location of the body can be affected.


Arhinia also known as Nasal Agenesis, is the partial or complete absence of the nose at birth.

Arteriovenous Malformation

Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is a vascular malformation which disrupts natural blood flow. AVMs can involve any organ of the body, aerincluding the skin.

Arthrogryposis Renal Dysfunction Cholestasis Syndrome

Arthrogryposis Renal Dysfunction Cholestasis syndrome (ARC) is a multisystem disorder, involving the liver, kidney, skin, central nervous system and musculoskeletal systems. The characteristic features of ARC syndrome include joint contraction, high acid concentration in the blood, and newborn jaundice.


Atelosteogenesis I is a disorder that affects the development of bones throughout the body. Dependant on the severity characteristic facial features could include prominent forehead, wide set eyes, upturned nose, very small lower jaw and some individuals may have an opening in the roof of the mouth (Cleft Palate).

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It's common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition and tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.