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Saturday, December 6, 2014

What Is Acanthosis Nigricans ?

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin image with thickening of the skin in the armpits, groin, perineum, neck, around the navel. By this thickening the skin is often dark discolored, as if the skin is dirty. Additionally grow wart-like bumps, called skin tags, or "skin tags. The skin structure of the palms of the hands may be increased. Sometimes the papules are really in the foreground, and you will notice the sudden occurrence 'warts on hands, torso and face on. This variant is called (in English) florid cutaneous papillomatosis. Unlike common warts, there is no detectable virus. Also in the absence of the histological examination characteristics of a virus infection.

There are several causes of acanthosis nigricans:

-Overweight (formerly called pseudoacanthosis nigricans)
-Medication: especially insulin, oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, phenytoin.
-Endocrine disruption: Diabetes mellitus, pituitary tumor, Cushing's syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome
-Paraneoplastic: as an expression of a cancer, especially adenocarcinoma of the gastrointestinal tract. This is called 'malignant AN. The symptoms on the skin are sometimes the first symptom of the cancer. But only at a very small part of the people with acanthosis nigricans, this is caused by cancer.
-Construction: sometimes it comes in families.

Possibly the thickening of the skin are caused by production of growth factors, but it is still unclear which growth factors that might be. Some claim that it is an expression of insulin resistance.

Treatment of acanthosis nigricans is difficult. Application of ointment with tretinoin or salicylic acid can sometimes help. Also acitretin as tablets is attempted. In addition, of course, must be sought for the underlying cause. Treatment often improves it (also) the complaints. The skin tags can be easily removed.

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