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What is acanthosis pigmentosa? Causes and treatments

A few days ago a friend told me about his concern about an area of ​​his skin (I am not a dermatologist, but, as you know, I am very interested in the world of skin and men's cosmetics...) As he explained to me, he has a darker stain appeared on the epidermis of the neck. It was clear to me at the moment, I had acanthosis pigmentosa!

What is acanthosis pigmentosa?

Acanthosis pigmentosa , also technically known as acanthosis nigricans , is a deleterious skin condition characterized by darker , velvety , and thicker skin in certain areas of the body such as the neck , armpits , groin , and flexion areas .

This disease occurs due to an increase in the production of melanin , which is the pigment produced by melanocytes that gives skin its color .

What causes acanthosis pigmentosa?

Although in principle you do not find the relationship between the two, this disease usually appears in people with obesity , insulin resistance , type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome . But why?

Everything is because there is a close relationship between acanthosis pigmentosa and obesity . Overweight people may have increased insulin resistance (when muscles do not absorb glucose from the blood) , which leads to an increase in the body 's production of insulin to control blood sugar levels . In turn, this excess insulin can stimulate skin cell growth and melanin production , thus eventually causing acanthosis pigmentosa .

However, this condition can also be an early sign of insulin resistance and prediabetes , which means that the body is having a hard time using insulin effectively to process blood sugar . If left untreated, this can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and other health complications.

Therefore, as you have seen, although acanthosis pigmentosa is harmful in itself, it is not only related to obesity, but this link can also lead to other diseases .

How to treat acanthosis pigmentosa?

Acanthosis pigmentosa is not usually painful or dangerous , but it can be a sign of underlying health problems such as type 2 diabetes , so it is important to have it evaluated and treated by a doctor .

However, for its treatment , it is important to know what the cause of acanthosis pigmentosa is , in order to address it . Here are some tips to keep in mind to treat acanthosis pigmentosa:

  1. Control weight : Weight loss can help reduce insulin resistance and improve overall health . _

  2. Change the diet: It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet , rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, and limit the intake of processed foods , sugars and saturated fats .
  3. Exercising regularly: sport as part of your daily routine can help reduce insulin resistance , which in turn significantly improves our health .
  4. Treating type 2 diabetes: If you have type 2 diabetes , it's important to follow your doctor's treatment plan to control your blood sugar .
  5. Treat other underlying diseases: If an underlying disease contributing to acanthosis pigmentosa , such as polycystic ovary syndrome or hypothyroidism , is identified , it should be treated appropriately.
  6. Topical Treatments: Topical creams or lotions containing salicylic acid, urea, or retinoids can be used to soften and lighten the skin .
  7. Medical Treatments – In severe cases, medical treatments such as cryotherapy , laser therapy , or dermabrasion may be used to remove excess skin and improve the appearance of affected skin.

Did you know about pigmentary acanthosis ? Many times, our skin presents symptoms of many conditions that, surely, we were not aware of before (but that's why I'm here!)

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