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Are Dark Cracks Behind Neck A Sign Of Diabetes?

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu 93% (553 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Diabetology
Endocrinologist, Mumbai  •  10 years experience
Are Dark Cracks Behind Neck A Sign Of Diabetes?

Many overweight and obese people have darkened and a rather flaky texture behind neck, darkening in armpits and other parts of body with creases and folds like elbows, knees or knuckles. This is commonly mistaken as smudge of dirt, uncleanliness or lack of hygiene. Some people think that it is due to repeated friction caused by necklace or chains etc. In fact it is a sign of'diabetes' which is already developed or might develop in future.

This darkening is due to excessive cell growth and differentiation of fibroblasts caused by excess of insulin in the body especially in obese individuals and type 2 diabetes patients.

In obese individuals and type 2 diabetes patients excess amount of fat especially abdominal fat (tummy fat) causes resistance to action of insulin secreted by pancreas and tends to hamper its action. In return, body produces more and more insulin from pancreas to keep blood sugar under control. This excess amount of insulin secreted by body promotes this skin cell growth leading to the visible condition called'acanthosis nigricans' in medical terms.

After producing excess amount of insulin pancreas start exhausting, this converts into diabetes. At this stage diabetes can be prevented by simple lifestyle modifications & focussed weight loss.

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