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Acanthosis Nigricans - Investigation And Management!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Himanshu Gupta 92% (237 ratings)
Fellow of ACSI , Fellow of IADVL , MD - Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy, MBBS
Dermatologist, Ghaziabad  •  15 years experience
Acanthosis Nigricans - Investigation And Management!

Acanthosis nigricans is a pigmentation disorder, which leads to velvety, black patch formations on the skin. In some cases, the patch of skin may also give off a foul odour while itching is also a normal symptom of the condition. It can appear at several spots of the body, including the knees, elbows, palms, knuckles and neck. Here is a look at the diagnostic procedure for the condition as well as the treatment prescribed to patients.

Diagnosis of Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is more common in males than it is in females. Additionally, being overweight, having darker skin or diabetes are some of the risk factors. Here is how the disease is diagnosed-

  1. Diagnosis of the condition is easy since examination with the naked eyes reveals the patchy black areas of skin on the patient.
  2. Doctors will perform tests to understand what is causing the condition. There can be two primary causes, namely, insulin resistance or diabetes. Usually, a test to measure the blood glucose levels in the blood is conducted.
  3. Doctors will also check if any medication is acting as a contributing factor for causing the problem.
  4. The doctor may also order a biopsy test if he/she feels that the issue is being caused by something other than Acanthosis nigricans. However, such a test is rarely performed during the diagnosis of the skin condition.

Treatment for Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is not a disease by itself but a symptom caused by an underlying condition affecting the patient. This is why treatment of the skin condition involves dealing with the underlying ailment.

  1. If your excess body weight is causing the appearance of the black patches on the skin, doctors will advise you to lose weight and get back in shape.
  2. The help of certain medications may also be taken in such a case to keep the blood glucose levels under check.
  3. Cosmetic treatments such as chemical peels, Laser, etc are used to treat the condition.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the only long-term solution for the disorder. If you suffer from the same, make sure that you eat healthily and exercise regularly, if you want to stay free from the symptoms of the condition.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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