The increasing problem of obesity in childhood is recognized as both a short-term and long-term serious public-health concern. Excess body weight may contribute to psychological morbidity; cancers; metabolic, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders; and dermatological conditions. There is increasing recognition of the role of genetic factors in the aetiology of obesity. Although in the vast majority of cases these influences are polygenic, some obese children suffer from monogenic disorders, which may present with obesity alone. However, more often than not, they generally display other syndromic features. Some of these syndromes have a clear cutaneous phenotype, and these conditions will be the focus of this review.