TibotSkin ProblemPigmentation DisordersAcanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition characterized by areas of dark, velvety discoloration in body folds and creases. The affected areas of skin may also itch or have an odor. The affected skin can become thickened. Most often, acanthosis nigricans affects armpits, groin and neck.

The skin changes of acanthosis nigricans typically occur in people who are obese or have diabetes. Children who develop the condition are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Acanthosis nigricans can be a warning sign of a cancerous tumor in an internal organ, such as the stomach or liver.

Acanthosis nigricans is common in Native Americans, blacks and Hispanics. There’s no specific treatment is available for acanthosis nigricans. Treatment of underlying conditions may restore some of the normal color and texture to affected areas of skin.

acanthosis nigricans

Skin changes are the only signs of acanthosis nigricans. Notice dark, thickened, velvety skin in body folds and creases, typically in armpits, groin and back of the neck. The skin changes usually appear slowly. The affected skin may also have an odor or itch.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans has been associated with some factors. Like:

Insulin resistance: People who have acanthosis nigricans have also become resistant to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that allows body to process sugar. Insulin resistance is what eventually causes type 2 diabetes.

Obesity: People who develop acanthosis nigricans are overweight or obese, which is a strong risk factor for developing insulin resistance.

Hormonal disorders: Acanthosis nigricans often occurs in people who have disorders such as ovarian cysts, underactive thyroids or problems with the adrenal glands.

Certain drugs: Medications such as oral contraceptives and corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may cause acanthosis nigricans — as can high doses of niacin.

Cancer: Acanthosis nigricans also sometimes occurs when a cancerous tumor begins growing in an internal organ, such as the stomach, colon or liver.

Acanthosis nigricans isn’t a disease. It’s a symptom of another condition that may require medical attention. Treatment is largely focused on addressing the condition that’s causing it. In many situations, treating the underlying problem can help fade the discoloration. Like:

Losing weight: If acanthosis nigricans is caused by obesity, losing weight may help.

About medications or supplements: If condition seems to be related to a medication or supplement that use, doctor may suggest stop using that.

Surgery: If acanthosis nigricans was triggered by a cancerous tumor, surgically removing of the tumor is the treatment of choice. It may clear up the skin discoloration.

If concerned about the appearance of skin or if the lesions become uncomfortable or start to smell bad, doctor may suggest:

  • Prescription creams to lighten or soften the affected areas,
  • Antibacterial soaps, used gently, as scrubbing could worsen the condition,
  • Topical antibiotic,
  • Oral acne medications,
  • Laser therapy to reduce the skin’s thickness.

If concerned with the appearance of affected skin, there are cosmetic treatments. Treatments like:

  • skin lighteners, like Retin-A, 20 percent urea, alpha hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid
  • antibacterial soaps
  • oral acne medications
  • laser therapy

These treatments can improve the appearance of acanthosis nigricans but will not cure the condition.

Acanthosis nigricans isn’t a disease. It’s a symptom of another condition that may require medical attention.

Consult a doctor if notice changes in skin — especially if the changes appear suddenly. It may have an underlying condition that needs treatment.

If the condition is caused by medications or supplements, doctor may have discontinue them or suggest substitutes.

If the cause isn’t clear, may have blood tests to check blood sugar or hormone levels, and might need additional tests, like: endoscopy or X-ray .

  • ABC Of Dermatology
  • Roxburgh’s common skin diseases
  • Andrew’s Diseases of the skin
TibotSkin ProblemPigmentation DisordersAcanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans

TUI - Tibot Urgency Index

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition characterized by areas of dark, velvety discoloration in body folds and creases. The affected areas of skin may also itch or have an odor. The affected skin can become thickened. Most often, acanthosis nigricans affects armpits, groin and neck.

The skin changes of acanthosis nigricans typically occur in people who are obese or have diabetes. Children who develop the condition are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Acanthosis nigricans can be a warning sign of a cancerous tumor in an internal organ, such as the stomach or liver.

Acanthosis nigricans is common in Native Americans, blacks and Hispanics. There’s no specific treatment is available for acanthosis nigricans. Treatment of underlying conditions may restore some of the normal color and texture to affected areas of skin.

acanthosis nigricans

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Dr. Lora Smith

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