The Causes of Acanthosis Nigricans in Children and Adolescents

You may have noticed a hyperpigmentation of the skin in the folds of your child’s body, such as the neck and armpits. This darkening of the skin is called acanthosis nigricans (AN) and is quite common in children and adolescents. Other areas that can be affected include the back of the hands, elbows, knees and ankles. The skin in these areas becomes thickened with a dry, velvet-like surface that often has a grayish-brown color. Sometimes it may appear as a lighter colored patch, which is commonly found around the mouth and eyes. These patches are not cancerous, but can lead to emotional stress for children and adolescents who feel self-conscious about the way their skin looks.

What causes AN?

There are many reasons why your child or adolescent may develop AN. In some cases, it is simply genetic and runs in families. If this is the reason for your child’s AN, you will notice that other family members also have similar looking dark patches on their skin.

If your child is overweight or obese they are also at an increased risk for developing AN because excess fat tissue produces hormones that can cause changes in the cells of your child’s skin. In fact, up to 50 percent of overweight

In children and adolescents, acanthosis nigricans is associated with obesity in most cases. It is not related to diabetes. The lesions are symmetrical and appear on the neck, armpits and groin folds.

Acanthosis nigricans occurs in obese individuals as a result of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is present in about 80% of patients with acanthosis nigricans. This case report involved a 13-year-old girl with acanthosis nigricans who was not obese, who did not have diabetes and had normal insulin levels. A diagnosis of insulin resistance was made based on four of the five WHO criteria for diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, dyslipidemia and impaired fasting glucose). Treatment resulted in a marked reduction in the skin changes.

The results were similar to those obtained by others, supporting the view that acanthosis nigricans may be a marker for insulin resistance. The authors conclude that measurement of insulin resistance should be considered when there is no apparent cause of acanthosis nigricans such as obesity or diabetes.

Acanthosis nigricans is a common skin disorder in children and adolescents. It is characterized by dark, velvety discoloration of the skin. This commonly occurs in the armpit, groin, neck and around the eyes. The condition is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. Other causes are medications (such as nicotinic acid, some birth control pills and oral contraceptive pills) and growth hormone therapy. Some people with acanthosis nigricans have normal levels of insulin or glucose.

The discoloration associated with acanthosis nigricans may be seen at all ages but is most common in children and adolescents. It is more common in African Americans than in Caucasians. Acanthosis nigricans has been found to be more common in family members of people with diabetes, suggesting a genetic link. It may also occur more frequently in Hispanic Americans who have type 2 diabetes.

There are two forms of acanthosis nigricans: focal and diffuse. Focal acanthosis nigricans usually develops following an injury to the skin from an insect bite or burn. Diffuse acanthosis nigricans occurs over a wide area of the body, not just one spot..

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition that is most common in children during puberty. It is also associated with obesity and diabetes. There are three types of acanthosis nigricans: idiopathic, malignant and acquired. The causes of acanthosis nigricans vary depending on the type.


Idiopathic acanthosis nigricans occurs in people who are otherwise healthy, but have dark, thickened areas of skin that appear at body folds and creases, especially the neck, underarms, groin and elbows. The cause of this type of acanthosis nigricans is unknown, but it may be related to genetics or hormones. Idiopathic acanthosis nigricans occurs in children, generally during puberty.


Malignant acanthosis nigricans tends to occur in people with an underlying cancerous tumor. It usually appears as a grayish-black velvety discoloration on the skin anywhere on the body. This type of acanthosis nigricans is rare and has been associated with cancers of the stomach or uterus. It can also occur

Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin disorder characterized by dark, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases. Although the condition is harmless, it can be disfiguring and embarrassing. It is more common in people of color.

The most common cause of acanthosis nigricans is insulin resistance (IR). Some researchers believe that up to 75% of people with acanthosis nigricans have elevated insulin levels or are IR, although this number may be inflated by the fact that all obese children are considered insulin resistant.

The second most common cause of acanthosis nigricans in children is a rare genetic disorder called “familial partial lipodystrophy” or FPLD. In kids with FPLD, they may not have any fat under their skin on their arms, legs and trunk, but they do have it around their internal organs (visceral fat) and around their neck (subcutaneous fat). The extra fat around the neck causes excessive growth hormone (GH) production from the pituitary gland. This GH then acts directly on the skin to produce the acanthosis nigricans.

Acanthosis nigricans can also be seen in rare disorders such as neurofib

Acanthosis Nigricans is a condition characterized by thickened, velvety, pigmented skin. The condition is most commonly found in the underarms and neck but can appear anywhere on the body.

The cause of acanthosis nigricans are not always clearly understood. It is often associated with obesity and insulin resistance but it can also be seen in people of normal weight.

Acanthosis nigricans can be associated with endocrine disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome and hypothyroidism. It has also been found to occur more frequently in patients with liver or kidney disease.

Certain drugs have been known to induce acanthosis nigricans including nicotinic acid, oral contraceptive pills, niacin, corticosteroids and growth hormone.

Acanthosis nigricans occurs more frequently in dark-skinned people and those of Hispanic ethnicity. It typically starts before the age of 40 but is more likely to develop after puberty when hormones may play a role in its development.

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder characterized by dark, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases. The affected skin can become enlarged and cover the entire nape of the neck, groin, underarms, elbows, knees, knuckles, chest and other areas.

Causes of Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans (AN) usually affects people with insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to help glucose (sugar) get into cells to be used as energy. Insulin resistance means that some body cells do not respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from the blood. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. High levels of insulin in the blood can cause AN by increasing the growth rate of skin cells.

People who are obese are more likely to have high levels of insulin in their blood because obesity increases insulin resistance. This is why AN usually appears in obese people or people with diabetes. However, many people without diabetes also have AN. They may not be aware that they have increased insulin resistance until AN develops.

Other factors that can lead to AN include:

* Hormonal problems (such

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