Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Acanthosis Nigricans


Synonyms of Acanthosis Nigricans
  • AN

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Acanthosis Nigricans With Insulin Resistance Type A
  • Acanthosis Nigricans With Insulin Resistance Type B
  • Benign Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Drug-induced Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Hereditary Benign Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Malignant Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Pseudoacanthosis Nigricans


General Discussion
Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a skin condition characterized by abnormally increased coloration (hyperpigmentation) and velvety thickening (hyperkeratosis) of the skin, particularly of skin fold regions, such as of the neck and groin and under the arms (axillae). Various benign (non-cancerous) forms of AN have been identified in which the disorder may be inherited as a primary condition or associated with various underlying syndromes; an excess accumulation of body fat (obesity); or the use of certain medications (i.e., drug-induced AN). In other instances, AN may occur in association with an underlying cancerous tumor (i.e., malignant AN).

Experts suggest that AN may be a skin manifestation of insulin resistance, which is a condition characterized by impaired biological responses to insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, regulates blood glucose levels by promoting the movement of glucose into cells for energy production or into the liver and fat cells for energy storage. (Glucose is a simple sugar that is the body's primary source of energy for cell metabolism.) Some clinicians suggest that insulin resistance causes a build-up of the hormone in the blood, and then it finds its way into skin cells. Insulin resistance may be associated with various disorders, including obesity and non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes mellitus. In individuals with type II diabetes mellitus, the pancreas produces insulin but the body becomes resistant to its effects, leading to insufficient absorption of glucose and abnormally increased glucose levels in the blood (hyperglycemia) and urine. As a result, there may be a gradual onset of certain symptoms, including excessive urination (polyuria) and increased thirst (polydipsia), and the development of particular complications without appropriate treatment.

Organizations related to Acanthosis Nigricans
  • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
    150 Custer Court
    Green Bay WI 54301-1243
    Phone #: 920-336-5333
    800 #: 877-336-5333
    e-mail: mums@netnet.net
    Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
  • March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains NY 10605
    Phone #: 914-428-7100
    800 #: 888-663-4637
    e-mail: Askus@marchofdimes.com
    Home page: http://www.marchofdimes.com
  • NIH/National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse
    1 AMS Circle
    Bethesda MD 20892-3675
    Phone #: 301-495-4484
    800 #: 877-226-4267
    e-mail: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

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