Dermatologic diseases have a similar influence on quality of life (QoL) and disability as other chronic medical conditions. Although QoL has been studied in relation to acne, eczema, and psoriasis, there is little information on how patients conceptualize their diseases - the illness experience. More information about illness perception (IP) and the impact of these perceptions on QoL, will help clinicians identify and address patients' conceptions, with the potential to positively impact patients' wellbeing. We sought to examine the effect of IP on QoL and make comparisons across acne, psoriasis, and eczema among a diverse population. A cross-sectional survey-based study was completed anonymously by patients presenting to an urban university hospital-based dermatology clinic. In our final model, we showed that IP was independently associated with overall QoL. A secondary finding showed that overall QoL was significantly worse for nonwhite patients compared to white patients. Our results are based on patient survey data, without correlation with objective clinical information. Taken together, our data demonstrate a direct relationship between IP and QoL in three common dermatologic conditions in a clinic-based setting and suggest that this relationship may be influenced by group differences, such as race/ethnicity.