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Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a skin disorder in which there is darker, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases. This condition usually appears slowly and doesn't cause any symptoms other than skin changes. Eventually, dark, velvety skin with very visible markings and creases appears in the armpits, groin and neck folds, and over the joints of the fingers and toes. Less commonly, the lips, palms, soles of the feet, or other areas may be affected. The exact cause of this condition is not well understood; but it can be inherited or related to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes mellitus (insulin- resistance), some prescription drugs, and cancer.
Source: GARD Last updated on 05-01-20
There is no specific treatment for AN. Treatments are used mostly to improve cosmetic appearance and include topical retinoids, vitamin D creams (such as calcipotriol), dermabrasion and laser therapy. Oral retinoid pills have also been used to treat AN, but are not used for most patients because of the multiple side effects and development problems associated with the treatment. Treatment may also focus on trying to correct the underlying disease that causes AN to develop. Often correcting the underlying disease improves the skin symptoms. Some steps that can be taken depending on the underlying disease include: correcting hyperinsulinaemia through diet and medication, losing weight with obesity-associated AN, removing or treating a tumor, or stopping medications that cause AN.
Last updated on 05-01-20
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