Acanthosis Nigricans: Symptoms and Causes
Dr Paramesh S
Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
A skin pigmentation disorder, Acanthosis Nigricans causes formation of dark thick patches of skin in many parts of the body. The skin thickens, becomes dark and has a velvety texture.
What causes this disorder?
- A major trigger is insulin. High insulin levels in the bloodstream causes acanthosis because excess insulin causes rapid reproduction of skin cells.
- People who are overweight tend to become resistant to insulin over a period of time
- Diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions
- Dark skinned people have increased production of melanin when cells reproduce rapidly which results in dark patches
- It can also be triggered by certain medications like birth control pills, thyroid medication and certain bodybuilding supplements as well
These are the factors that are most common amongst the people who have the disorder.
Diagnosis and treatment
Acanthosis nigricans is easy to even self-diagnose as the dark thick patches are easily visible. These patches commonly appear on the neck, elbows, knees, knuckles, lips, armpits etc.
The affected areas maybe itchy and could have an odour. Since the trigger for this condition is too much insulin, acnthosis maybe a sign of pre-diabetes.
If insulin is the cause then it can be corrected by controlling blood sugar levels. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help a great deal.
It is best to consult a doctor to find out the root cause. The treatment is effective and the patches tend to disappear once the root cause is successfully targeted.
Healthy lifestyle choices can prevent this disease. Maintaining your weight and diet can reduce your risk of diseases.