Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans


Acanthosis nigricans is a common skin disorder, it is usually found in body folds, such as armpits, groin, navel, forehead, and other areas. The affected areas of skin may also itch or have an odor. Acanthosis nigricans may be a serious health issue, such as prediabetes. These skin patches tend to disappear after successful treatment of the root condition. This disease can be seen in both men and women.

Acanthosis nigricans skin patches occur when epidermal skin cells begin to reproduce rapidly. This disease is associated with

  • Insulin resistance,
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Drugs and supplements
  • Cancer

It is commonly found in patients suffering from diabetes or a tendency towards diabetes and is most common among people of African descent.


In few cases, acanthosis nigricans can be caused by:

  • Stomach Cancer
  • Adrenal gland disorder
  • low levels of thyroid hormones
  • high doses of niacin

Skin changes are the signs of acanthosis nigricans. The commonly affected areas include the sides and back of the neck, under the arms (axillae), the groin, and the anal/genit. In some cases, other body folds may also be involved, such as behind the knees, in front of the elbows, under the breasts, and the navel region. There are few reports in which almost all of the skin is affected. Changes in skin occur slowly and there is the possibility of odor or itch in the affected skin.


Acanthosis nigricans can be seen in male and female; it’s common for those who have issues like obesity, darker skin, diabetes or prediabetes condition. If acanthosis nigricans are found in children’s, then they at the higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Acanthosis nigricans is easy to identify by sight. The Doctor may also want to check for diabetes as the cause, these tests may include blood glucose or fasting insulin resistance.


Acanthosis nigricans is not a disease; it is a symptom of another condition that may require medical attention. A skin specialist can do primary diagnosis by looking at patient’s skin. If the results are positive, the patient may need a blood test and other medical tests. These tests can help find out if the patient has another medical condition. If acanthosis nigricans is related to overweight, the Doctor may suggest a patient to lose weight, in other cases your Doctor may also suggest some antibiotics or oral acne medication.

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