ACANTHOSIS NIGRICANS - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms


Acanthosis nigricans is a common skin disease distinguished by dark skin patches, silky or velvety discoloration in the folds, and creases of your body. In addition, the affected part of your skin might become firmer.

Usually, acanthosis nigricans influence your neck, groin, and armpits. Furthermore, the changes in the skin often transpire in people with diabetes, as well as those who are overweight and obese. Also, children who acquire this disease are at high possibilities of getting type 2 diabetes.

On rare occasions, acanthosis nigricans could indicate cancer in internal organs, including the liver and stomach. Nevertheless, while there’s no particular treatment available for this condition, treating the underlying problems might put back some of the normal texture and color of the affected skin.


The most common symptoms of acanthosis nigricans are skin changes. You will see thickened, dark, and velvety skin in the folds and creases of your body—usually in your neck, groin, and armpits. These skin changes often come out gradually. Also, the affected skin might also be itchy or have an unpleasant smell.

If you notice these changes in your skin, consult a doctor—primarily if the changes come out all of a sudden. You may possibly have an underlying condition that requires immediate treatment. 


To diagnose acanthosis nigricans, the doctor may perform an overall physical exam to see if there’s an indication of the condition. Usually, acanthosis nigricans are recognized during skin examination. However, in some cases, a skin sample is extracted for testing in the laboratory.

In addition, if the cause of the condition is not clear, the doctor might suggest X-rays, blood tests, and other tests to find possible causes. 


In some instances, treatment of the underlying issues could help manage the discoloration on the skin. Some possible treatments include:

  • Losing weight if the condition is caused by overweight or obesity;
  • Stopping supplements or medications that cause the problems; or
  • Surgery if the condition was triggered by a tumor.

Moreover, if you are worried about the looks of your skin or if it has become unbearable and begins to have an odor, your doctor might recommend:

  • Antibacterial soaps
  • Laser therapy
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Prescription creams
  • Oral acne medications

To treat your condition correctly, seek professional medical help. 

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