Acanthosis Nigricans: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

1889 was the first documented case of acanthosis nigricans and since it has been found that most people with this condition are obese. Although this isn't proven and anyone can get this condition. It is just that obese individuals seem to get this condition more than other people. This condition shows that individuals have too much insulin levels in their body which leads to the insulin spilling over onto the skin and causing the condition to show on the body. It typically shows up on the neck, under the arms and also around the groin area. It starts as a black mark that can spread overtime if not properly treated. You main not even notice this problem especially if it is around the back of neck.

Causes for Acanthosis Nigricans

Insulin resistance from type 2 diabetes is the most common cause of this condition. Eating the wrong foods too much can also cause it. Good contributors to this condition include starchy foods and foods with too much sugar. This is why obese individuals are more likely to contract this skin disease. A healthy balanced diet will have less unhealthy foods. Those who eat a well balanced meal won't have to watch for this disease because of their diet. Overweight individuals are at a higher risk of getting this skin disorder.

It hasn't been definitely proven what causes this condition, but there is thought to be eight different types of this condition although there are only three common types:

  • The most popular type is the obesity-associated condition.
  • African American individuals who are otherwise healthy can get acral acanthosis nigricans.
  • Then the most worrisome type is malignant acanthosis nigricans since it is caused by an underlying aggressive cancer.

Who Is In Danger of Contracting Acanthosis Nigricans?

Those who are more likely to get this condition are people with darker skin, overweight individuals and people with diabetes. Although this doesn't mean that people without these preexisting conditions won't get this condition. Anyone can get this condition. It is just that the above groups have had a higher diagnosed rate of this condition than the lighter skinned individuals who eat a well balanced diet.

However, for unknown reasons, this condition does seem to favor African Americans. It occurs in one percent of whites, five percent of Hispanics and thirteen percent of African Americans. Both men and women are equally affected. Overweight individuals should consider their diet to reduce their chances of getting this skin disease.

Those with this condition should be screened for diabetes especially if the individual has a family history of diabetes since it can be inherited from other family members. You should talk to your doctor about a diabetes screening test if anyone in your family has a history of diabetes or this skin condition.

Symptoms of Acanthosis Nigricans

This condition usually appears on the back of the neck and under the armpit. It is characterized by a dark, thick velvety patch of skin. The condition does nothing more than cause a hyper pigmentation of the skin. If you find this condition on yourself then you should be screened for diabetes right away.

Treatment for Acanthosis Nigricans

This condition really has no treatment since there is an underlying symptom that causes it. Such as eating the wrong foods, obesity or diabetes. The discoloration of the skin will most likely disappear once the underlying cause of the condition has been placed under control. So consider changing your diet today to avoid contract this skin disease.

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