Acanthosis Nigricans or Acanthosis Nigricans- Causes and Treatment


What

is

Acanthosis Nigricans?

Acanthosis Nigricans or Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin disorder

characterized by thick, velvety, darker patches of skin. These lesions are mostly seen in the folds of the skin like armpits, neck and groin but can also be found in the palms, knees and knuckles. Acanthosis nigricans occurs when there is an overproduction of cells in the epidermis or uppermost layer of the skin. The affected areas of the skin become dark, rough and thickened with time.

This condition usually affects people who are overweight or obese. It is more common among people with diabetes and insulin resistance. Women are more prone to this disorder than men. Acanthosis nigricans can also occur due to certain medications such as nicotinic acid, birth control pills and hormonal therapy like estrogen and progesterone. Some genetic disorders that can cause acanthosis nigricans are Down’s syndrome, Albright’s syndrome and Werner’s syndrome.

Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin condition where the skin becomes darker, thicker and velvety. The term Acanthosis Nigricans is derived from the Greek word ‘akantha’ which means thorn and ‘nigra’ meaning black. This condition is commonly seen in people who are obese or overweight. This skin disorder can affect any part of the body but usually found in neck, armpit, groin, and around the knuckles. The discoloration is either brown or black in color. Acanthosis nigricans can be seen in children as well as adults. It is considered to be a marker for insulin resistance. The etiology for Acanthosis nigricans is not known but it is diagnosed based on clinical findings of hyperpigmentation and hyperkeratosis.

Acanthosis nigricans is often associated with insulin resistance which may lead to diabetes mellitus type 2. It can also occur in association with other conditions such as Addison’s disease (adrenal gland disease characterized by darkening of skin), Cushing’s syndrome (adrenal gland disorder characterized by excess cortisol production), polycystic ovary syndrome (hyperandrogenism, oligomenorrhea and polycystic ovaries),

Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin condition characterized by the appearance of dark, velvety patches of skin in body folds and creases. These patches are usually found in the neck, armpits and groin areas of the body. Acanthosis Nigricans can be a harmless sign of aging or it could be a sign of an underlying condition such as diabetes or hormonal imbalance.

It is important to check with your doctor if you develop Acanthosis Nigricans to rule out any serious medical conditions that might be causing it. The best treatment for this condition is prevention by controlling weight and getting adequate exercise.

Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin condition that causes darker, thicker or velvety patches of skin. It is commonly found in body folds and creases such as the armpits, groin area and neck (a symptom of insulin resistance). Acanthosis Nigricans is usually painless, but people with this condition may become self-conscious about the way they appear.

Acanthosis Nigricans is associated with diabetes mellitus, obesity, pituitary tumours and certain genetic disorders. Other possible causes are birth control pills, certain medications such as corticosteroids and nicotinic acid, Addison’s disease (a disease of the adrenal gland), Cushing’s syndrome (an endocrine disorder causing increased amounts of cortisol) and hypothyroidism.

Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin condition that results in dark, velvety and thickened areas of skin. It usually develops in the body folds and creases such as the groin area, armpits, back of the neck and knee. If you notice these symptoms forming on your skin, it is a good idea to consult a dermatologist for treatment. Acanthosis nigricans is caused by insulin resistance.

The most common cause of acanthosis nigricans is obesity, although some people with this skin condition are not overweight. Therefore, if you are overweight and notice these symptoms forming on your skin, you should consider losing weight to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. There are also certain medications that may cause this skin condition such as birth control pills or hormone therapy.

Sometimes acanthosis nigricans may be caused by an underlying medical condition such as gastrointestinal tumors or polycystic ovary syndrome. This skin condition may also be inherited from a family member who has it. If you notice any other symptoms besides these dark patches of skin forming on your body, it is important to consult a dermatologist right away to rule out any other health problems that may be causing them.

This video provides more information regarding causes and treatment options

Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening of the skin and an increase in skin markings. In the medical community, this process is also referred to as velvety skin. The condition usually occurs in the armpits, neck, and groin area. The name comes from the Greek words acantha (meaning spine or thorns) and ōsis (a suffix that denotes a condition).

Acanthosis nigricans is not a disease but rather a marker for insulin resistance. It has been well documented that people with acanthosis nigricans are at high risk for diabetes. More than 90 percent of overweight children who have acanthosis nigricans will go on to develop type 2 diabetes if they do not change their habits.

If you love someone with acanthosis nigricans make sure they know it’s not contagious and they’re just fine.

As a dermatologist, acanthosis nigricans (a.k.a. “AN”) is the most common skin condition that I get asked about by patients and doctors alike.

This darkening of the skin is most noticeable in body folds and areas of skin friction. It is seen in people of all ages, ethnicities and genders. Sometimes it’s subtle and confined to small areas of skin; other times it can be quite profuse and widespread. It can also occur as an isolated event or be part of a syndrome or disease process which makes it even more difficult to diagnose.

As you can see below, AN can vary from a slight darkening of the skin on the neck (the most common place) to widespread involvement like this woman with abdominal obesity. While AN is not painful or itchy, it is often troublesome for patients due to its appearance.

In my professional experience, AN tends to affect younger adults (20-30s) more often than older adults with obesity being the most common underlying cause of this condition in many cases. However, I do see AN in thin patients as well especially if there are other risk factors present such as diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, hypothyroidism and certain medications among others.

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