Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Acanthosis Nigricans Overview

What is acanthosis nigricans?
A person with acanthosis nigricans has dark brown, velvety patches on the skin. The most common causes are obesity and treatment with insulin. Acanthosis nigricans may be inherited, or may be the result of a medication side effect.

What are the symptoms of acanthosis nigricans?
In acanthosis nigricans, the skin changes occur most commonly in the skin folds, such as the armpits, neck or groin.

How does the doctor treat acanthosis nigricans?
The treatment of acanthosis nigricans depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may range from observation (wait for skin lesions to go away on their own) to medications and laser surgery.

Continue to Acanthosis Nigricans Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 2, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acanthosis Nigricans References
  1. Hermanns-Le T, Hermanns JF, Pierard GE. Juvenile acanthosis nigricans and insulin resistance. Pediatr Dermatol. 2002 Jan-Feb;19(1):12-4. [11860562]
  2. Matsuoka LY, Wortsman J, Gavin JR, Goldman J. Spectrum of endocrine abnormalities associated with acanthosis nigricans. Am J Med. 1987 Oct;83(4):719-25. [3674058]
  3. Olson KK. Acanthosis nigricans. A guide to assessment and evaluation. Adv Nurse Pract. 2004 Dec;12(12):24-6. [15615216]
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