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Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a disorder that causes light-brown-to-black, velvety, rough areas or increased skin markings usually on the back and sides of the neck. Acanthosis nigricans may begin at any age and its causes are still unknown. This is most often associated with being overweight.

Causes of Acanthosis nigricans

Rarely acanthosis nigricans is associated with a tumor. Exact cause of this condition is not known. It can be a genetic (inherited) condition. When inherited, it is not considered dangerous. However it is sometimes associated with obesity, diabetes, cancer and certain drugs.

Signs and symptoms of Acanthosis nigricans

Symptoms generally include the colour change of the body parts at the folds and other creasy areas. Other possible symptoms may includes:-

•  Itch, painless area of darkened, slightly raised skin.

•  The skin is darker and thicker in certain areas. These areas may be light-brown to black in color.

•  Acanthosis nigricans generally appears slowly, sometimes over months or years causing no symptoms except skin changes.

•  Skin turns dark,velvety with very visible markings and creases appears in the armpits, groin and neck which is painless. Sometimes, the lips, palms,soles of feet, or other areas may be affected. These areas may be light-brown to black in colour.

Treatment of Acanthosis nigricans

Some treatments of acanthosis nigricans include the following:

  • When acanthosis nigricans develops a medical work-up should be done to determine whether or not the patient has a gland (endocrine) disorder or a tumor.
  • Treatment to just improve the appearance includes Retin-A, 20% urea, alpha hydroxyacids, and salicylic acid prescriptions.
  • After the development of Acanthosis nigricans a medical work-up should be done so that it can be determined whether or not the patient has a gland (endocrine) disorder or a tumor.
  • Stop offending medicines in drug-induced acanthosis nigricans.
  • Losing weight for those having overweight may improve condition.
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