Acanthosis nigricans

Below you will find more information about Acanthosis nigricans from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Acanthosis nigricans it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Acanthosis nigricans and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Acanthosis nigricans comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Acanthosis Nigricans is a dermatological condition where the skin appears to be brown to black in color. It also appears to be poorly defined, often velvety and is considered to be a state of hyperpigmentation. This is usually present in the lateral and posterior folds of the groin, the neck, the axilla, the umbilicus, and also some other areas. The changes on the skin's pigment are the sole signs of acanthosis nigricans. It can be noticed that it appears very slowly (sometimes it can take months or years). It is very rare that the affected areas may itch. This condition can begin at any age but it is more evident among darker-skinned individuals.

Testing

Doctors usually diagnose this condition when they look at the patient's skin. A biopsy of the skin may be an option in some unusual cases. If there is no apparent cause of acanthosis nigricans, it is essential to look for one. This is necessary because some other unseen illness might be causing it. Tests could include blood tests, x-rays, endoscopy. These techniques may be required to eliminate any chances of cancer or diabetes as the underlying cause.

Treatment

Patients of acanthosis nigricans must be screened for cancer or diabetes. It is also important for them to control their levels of blood glucose and this can be done by having a proper diet and some good exercise. When a healthy regimen is strictly followed, recovery is almost always certain. Also, if the causes are immediately diagnosed and treated with the right medications, the prognosis is often positive. It is often best to seek medical advice once the hyper pigmentation appears suddenly. This could be an indication that the patient has other conditions that need to be attended to immediately.

Causes

Acanthosis Nigricans occurs when there is a spillover of insulin into the patient's skin. This is caused by overproduction because of obesity or it could be because of resistance to insulin). When there's a spillover, it is often observed that abnormal growths start to appear. The most probable cause is resistance to insulin which is ordinarily from type 2 diabetis mellitus. Other causes include gastric cancer that is malignant; idiopathic and polycystic ovary syndrome; or obesity. When it comes to malignant illnesses, Acanthosis nigricans is a syndrome that is paraneoplastic and is often referred to as Acanthosis nigricans maligna. It is very rare that mucous membranes become involved.

Discuss Acanthosis nigricans in our forums

Discuss Acanthosis nigricans with other members of Medigest in our forums.