Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin pigmentation disorder in which there is dark, thick and velvety skin is found in body folds and creases. Most affected areas may be your neck, groin, armpits, elbows, knees, lips, palm, and sole of your feet. The affected skin may be itchy and can have an odor. Diabetic and obese people are more prone to develop the condition. Children affected by acanthosis nigricans are at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. In very rare cases, Nigerians can be a sign of a cancerous tumor in an internal organ, like the stomach or liver. Acanthosis nigricans is very common in Native Americans, blacks, and Hispanics. No specific treatment is available for acanthosis nigricans.


The only signs of acanthosis nigricans are gradual skin changes. You notice a darker, thicker, velvety skin in body folds and creases. They may be in your armpits, groin, and back of your neck with or without itchiness and odor.


Acanthosis nigricans develops when epidermal skin cells begin to reproduce rapidly. This abnormal skin cell growth can be triggered by high levels of insulin in the blood. In rare cases, the condition develops due to medications, cancer, or anyother medical conditions like:-

Risk Factor and Complications:-

Acanthosis nigricans is common in both men and women. It’s most common in people who are overweight, have darker skin, have diabetic or prediabetic conditions. Children affected with acanthosis nigricans usually develop type 2 diabetes in their later life.


Acanthosis nigricans can be seen easily. Your doctor may want to check for diabetes or insulin resistance as a potential cause. They go for blood glucose tests or fasting insulin tests. Your doctor may evaluate your medications to find any contributing factor.

You must give all the details of your medication, vitamins, dietary supplements, protein supplements or anything that is important to your doctor to evaluate properly.

In rare cases, your doctor may execute other tests, such as a small skin biopsy to rule out other possible causes


Acanthosis nigricans is a skin pigmentation disorder not a disease. It’s a sign of another condition that may need medical attention. Your doctor may pay attention to the root causes of the health issues that’s causing the skin changes.. If you’re overweight, your doctor will aks you to lose weight. Your doctor may also advise medications to keep your blood glucose under control.

If the condition is a result of medications, your doctor may have you discontinue them or prescribe substitutes. The skin patches will usually fade when you locate the cause and get it controlled.

If acanthosis nigricans is because of the cancerous tumor, surgically removing the tumor clears up the skin discoloration.

Diet which reduce circulating insulin may lead to improve the condition in acanthosis nigricans.


When acanthosis nigricans is related to your overweight, weight management can play an important role in the prevention of AN. A diet that reduces your insulin leve lcan also prevent acanthosis nigricans.

The other ways of prevention strategies include treating medical problems that are associated with acanthosis nigricans and avoiding medications that tend to cause or worsen the condition like contraceptive pills.

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