What Is Acanthosis Nigricans?

Acanthosis Nigricans

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Acanthosis Nigricans is a common skin disease that usually presents in the posterior and lateral folds of the neck, the axilla, groin, umbilicus, and other areas. Acanthosis nigricans may begin at any age and its causes are still unknown. This is most often associated with being overweight.


  • Drugs, particularly hormones such as human growth hormone or oral contraceptives (“the pill”), can cause it.
  • Sometimes associated with being overweight.
  • Many hormone problems, endocrine disorders or tumors may cause it.


  • The dark patches becomes rough.
  • The affected areas rarely produces a itching.
  • Painless area of darkened, slightly raised skin.
  • Skin changes appear slowly
  • Light-brown-to-black


  • 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.
  • Retin-A ,15% urea ,alpha hydroxyacid and salicylic acid are general prescriptions from the doctors for improving the condition of the patient.
  • Excise or treat underlying  tumor.
  • Stop offending medicines in drug-induced acanthosis nigricans.

Risk factors

  • Obesity. The heavier you’re , the upper your risk of keratosis nigricans
  • Race. Studies show that within the us , keratosis nigricans is more common among Native Americans.
  • Family history. Some sorts of keratosis nigricans appear to be hereditary.


People who have acanthosis nigricans are much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor if you notice changes in your skin — especially if the changes appear suddenly. You may have an underlying condition that needs treatment.

For more regarding this Consult the Skin Specialist for individual advice.


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