Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans

What is acanthosis nigricans?

Acanthosis nigricans is a condition which results in thick, dark areas developing on the skin. It is also known as AN.

What causes acanthosis nigricans?

The exact cause of this acanthosis nigricans is unknown. It can be a genetic (inherited) condition. When inherited, it is not considered dangerous. However it is sometimes associated with obesity, diabetes, cancer and certain drugs. All of these conditions can be considered potentially dangerous.

What are the symptoms of acanthosis nigricans?

Where does acanthosis nigricans most commonly occur?

Acanthosis nigricans is usually found in the armpits and other body folds, for example, on the neck, under the breasts, between the legs, on the elbows, or around the belly button.

Only the outer part of the skin is affected.

How can I prevent acanthosis nigricans?

You cannot prevent acanthosis nigricans if it is hereditary.

If it is caused by something like obesity, losing weight may control it. If it caused by certain drugs, stopping them may control the condition. However the drugs may be necessary for some other more serious condition, in which case there is little you can do.

At what age does acanthosis nigricans develop?

Acanthosis nigricans can develop at any age.

Is acanthosis nigricans contagious?

No. Acanthosis nigricans is not contagious.

What are the long-term effects of acanthosis nigricans?

While acanthosis nigricans can be associated with potentially dangerous conditions such as obesity, it is not in itself a dangerous condition.

However from a psychological point of view, the development of dark patches on the skin can bother some people, especially if they are on parts of the body which cannot be easily covered.

If you develop dark patches on your skin, visit your doctor for advice.

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