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Home :: Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment of Acanthosis Nigricans

What is Acanthosis Nigricans?

Acanthosis nigricans is a disorder that causes light-brown-to-black, velvety, rough areas or increased skin markings usually on the back, sides of the neck and under the arms or in the groin. Acanthosis nigricans is a disorder that may begin at any age and usually being of overweight.

Acanthosis nigricans may begin at any age. Acanthosis nigricans can affect otherwise healthy people, or it can be associated with medical problems. Some cases are genetically inherited. It is most common among people of African descent.

What are the causes of Acanthosis Nigricans?

The exact cause of this acanthosis nigricans is unknown. Although several possibilities have been suggested for the causes of acanthosis nigricans are :-

  • Addison disease, which is caused by a deficiency of hormones from the adrenal gland.
  • Acanthosis nigricans is most often associated with being overweight.
  • Eating too much of the wrong foods, especially starches and sugars, raises insulin levels.
  • It can be a genetic (inherited) condition. When inherited, it is not considered dangerous.
  • It may be associated with diabetes cancer and certain drugs.

What are the signs and symptoms Acanthosis nigricans?

Acanthosis nigricans usually appears slowly and doesn't cause any symptoms other than skin changes.The following symptoms are observed in case of Acanthosis nigricans skin disorder -

  • The skin is darker and thicker in certain areas. These areas may be light-brown to black in color.
  • Itch, painless area of darkened, slightly raised skin.
  • The dark patches feel velvety and rough.
  • Acanthosis can bee seen in extra places, such as the lips or hands and is unusually severe.

What are the treatment for Acanthosis nigricans ?

Because acanthosis nigricans itself usually only causes changes to the appearance of the skin, no particular treatment is needed. It is important, however, to attempt to treat any underlying medical problem that may be causing these skin changes. Some treatments of acanthosis nigricans include the following:

  • antibiotic ointments or creams.
  • weight loss to lower insulin resistance.
  • retinoids, taken orally or used in a cream.
  • topical corticosteroid creams.

What can be done to prevent the Acanthosis nigricans ?

You cannot prevent acanthosis nigricans if it is hereditary.

  • If it is caused by something like obesity, losing weight or weight management is key.
  • When it is caused by cancer, there may be little that can be done to prevent it until the cancer is successfully treated.
  • If it caused by certain drugs, stopping them may control the condition.

Is acanthosis nigricans contagious?

No. Acanthosis nigricans is not contagious.

At what age does acanthosis nigricans develop?

Acanthosis nigricans can develop at any age.

How Acanthosis nigricans is diagnosed?

A doctor can diagnose acanthosis nigricans by doing a medical history and physical exam. The diagnosis is usually based on how your skin looks and where your skin is affected.

Acanthosis Nigricans Prognosis (Expectations)

Acanthosis nigricans often fades if the cause can be found and treated.The disease or condition that is causing acanthosis nigricans will need to be monitored. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor.

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