Machine Learning Methods in Skin Disease Recognition: A Systematic Review

Jie Sun*, Kai Yao, Guangyao Huang, Chengrui Zhang, Mark Leach*, Kaizhu Huang, Xi Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Skin lesions affect millions of people worldwide. They can be easily recognized based on their typically abnormal texture and color but are difficult to diagnose due to similar symptoms among certain types of lesions. The motivation for this study is to collate and analyze machine learning (ML) applications in skin lesion research, with the goal of encouraging the development of automated systems for skin disease diagnosis. To assist dermatologists in their clinical diagnosis, several skin image datasets have been developed and published online. Such efforts have motivated researchers and medical staff to develop automatic skin diagnosis systems using image segmentation and classification processes. This paper summarizes the fundamental steps in skin lesion diagnosis based on papers mainly published since 2013. The applications of ML methods (including traditional ML and deep learning (DL)) in skin disease recognition are reviewed based on their contributions, methods, and achieved results. Such technical analysis is beneficial to the continuing development of reliable and effective computer-aided skin disease diagnosis systems. We believe that more research efforts will lead to the current automatic skin diagnosis studies being used in real clinical settings in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1003
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • computer assisted diagnostics
  • deep learning
  • dermatology
  • machine learning
  • skin image segmentation
  • skin lesion classification


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