Acanthosis Nigricans - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
A skin condition characterized by dark thickened velvety patches especially in the folds and creases of skin in the axilla, groin and back of the neck and it is common in people whose body is not responding correctly to the insulin that they make in their pancreas .This makes too much insulin collected in the body resulting in hyperpigmentation which changes the colour of the skin .This skin condition is also seen in people who have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
The skin darkening is usually first seen during pre-adolescence and adolescence years. High insulin levels in the blood can lead to several fatal diseases like diabetes and other chronic health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, and heart problems.it is sometimes associated with cancer of abdominal viscera. It may begin at any age.
Symptoms generally include the colour change of the body parts at the folds and other creasy areas. Other possible symptoms may includes:-
- 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.
- The dark patches becomes rough.
- The affected areas rarely produces a itching.
- Painless area of darkened, slightly raised skin.
The exact cause of Acanthosis Nigricans is not known but some of the causes which make it prone are:
- The main and the critical cause is Insulin resistance which results in excess of insulin in the body results in abnormal growth.
- Obesity: Acanthosis nigricans is sometimes associated with being overweight.
- It is frequently found in people with diabetes.
- Hormones: The human growth hormone or oral contraceptives can also cause the disease.
- Cancer:People with cancers of the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tracts or with lymphoma are more prone to affected by the disease.
- Acanthosis Nigricans rarely associated with an endocrine disorder or a tumor.
- Genetic causes are also present for the disease.
- Drug-induction may also cause Acanthosis Nigricans.
Because acanthosis nigricans itself usually causes changes to the appearance of the skin, no particular treatment is needed. However, it is important to attempt treatment any underlying medical problem causing skin changes:
- 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.
- Correct hyperinsulinaemia: The amount of insulin can be controlled through diet and medication.
- Excise or treat underlying tumour.
- Stop offending medicines in drug-induced acanthosis nigricans.
- Losing weight for those having overweight may improve condition .