Acanthosis Nigricans - Dream Health

Dream Health aims to provide latest information about health, alternative medicine, fitness, yoga and meditation to improve knowledge and life style.

Recent Posts

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans – Darken/Thicken/Velvety Hyperpigmentation

Acanthosis nigricans, is a medical term for darkened, thickened patches of the skin, a brown to black, velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin that is usually found in body folds, like the lateral folds of the neck, armpits, groin, forehead, navel and other areas of the body. Though it is not a condition, it may be a sign of an internal or an underlying condition which is not really serious though the skin changes could be early signs of diabetes and rarely cancer. The only signs of acanthosis nigricans are the skin changes where one will notice thick, dark and velvety skin in the folds and creases of the body. These changes tend to appear slowly and at times over a period of years and the affected area may tend to smell or be itchy.

At times the skin over the joints of toes and fingers also tend to get affected together with the skin on lips, palms of the hand as well as the soles of the feet though this is usually common in the case of elderly people and acanthosis nigricans seems to be a sign of cancer which is known as acanthosis nigrican maligna and is quite rare. In rare cases of acanthosis nigricans which could be signs of cancer, the patches get very aggressive, spreading quickly in different areas of the body and tend to be more severe and extensive.

Tiny Finger like Growth - Papillomatosis

In these conditions, the mouth, tongue, throat, windpipe and nose could also get affected.One may also come across several tiny fingers like growth from the patches which are known as papillomatosis. Besides this, there could also be skin tags surrounding the areas that are affected which are small flesh coloured or pigmented growth which hangs off the skin looking somewhat like warts.

Acanthosis nigricans could be associated with insulin resistance wherein most people having this condition are prone to insulin resistant, which is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that enables the body to process sugar and insulin resistance is the cause of type 2 diabetes. People with acanthosis nigricans are overweight or obese and these are the risk factors in the development of insulin resistance. Besides this, hormonal disorder like ovarian cyst, problems with the adrenal glands or under active thyroids could also be associated with this condition.

Endoscopy or X-ray 

Medication like corticosteroid and oral contraceptive may also cause acanthosis nigricans as well as high doses of niacin. Cancerous tumours which tend to begin growing in internal organs like the stomach, liver or colon could also be the cause of acanthosis nigricans. The physician can suspect acanthosis nigricans by inspecting the skin and if the cause is not clear, blood test to check the count of sugar level and an endoscopy or x-ray would be essential.

Treatment is done to resolve the underlying cause of the condition of the skin that would depend on the cause, which would be to lose weight or opting to an alternate medication.Many cases of this condition tend to be harmless wherein the skin patches tend to fade away slowly as the condition is treated though in case of malignant acanthosis nigricans, with underlying cancer, the situation tends to get serious. If the tumour is successfully eliminated, this condition may disappear.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.