Journal of Diabetology

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Editorial - Journal of Diabetology (2023) Volume 7, Issue 6

Acanthosis nigricans awareness: Unlocking the layers recognizing signs beyond cosmetics for holistic health understanding

Michael Bezuhly*

Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Corresponding Author:
Michael Bezuhly
Department of Surgery
Division of Plastic Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Received: 31-Oct-2023, Manuscript No. AADY-23-123122; Editor assigned: 03-Oct-2023, PreQC No. AADY-23-123122(PQ); Reviewed: 17-Nov-2023, QC No. AADY-23-123122; Revised: 22-Nov-2023, Manuscript No. AADY-23-123122(R); Published: 29-Nov-2023, DOI:10.35841/aady-7.6.175

Citation: Bezuhly M. Acanthosis nigricans awareness: Unlocking the layers recognizing signs beyond cosmetics for holistic health understanding, J Diabetol. 2023; 7(6):175

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Acanthosis nigricans may not be a household term, but its prevalence is steadily rising, silently affecting millions worldwide. This dermatological condition, characterized by dark, velvety patches on the skin's folds and creases, serves as a visual indicator of an underlying health concern. Beyond its cosmetic implications, AN is a crucial signal, prompting us to delve deeper into our health and lifestyle choices.

The visual manifestation

The most recognizable aspect of Acanthosis nigricans is its impact on the skin. Affected areas, such as the neck, armpits, and groin, develop darkened, thickened patches, resembling a velvet-like texture. While this may be dismissed as a mere cosmetic concern, it often points towards an association with metabolic and hormonal imbalances.

The metabolic connection

Acanthosis nigricans is frequently linked to insulin resistance, a condition where the body's cells become less responsive to insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps regulate blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to its effects, the pancreas produces more insulin, leading to higher insulin levels in the bloodstream. This excess insulin may stimulate the growth of skin cells, resulting in the characteristic dark patches of AN.

Beyond skin deep

The presence of Acanthosis nigricans should serve as a red flag, prompting a comprehensive examination of one's overall health. Insulin resistance is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes, and studies have shown a strong association between AN and the development of diabetes. Additionally, AN is also linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome, further emphasizing the need for lifestyle modifications.

Unmasking hormonal influences

While insulin resistance plays a pivotal role in Acanthosis nigricans, hormonal factors cannot be overlooked. The condition is commonly associated with hormonal disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism. These disorders disrupt hormonal balance, contributing to the manifestation of Acanthosis nigricans. Recognizing these hormonal influences is crucial for a more holistic approach to management.

Lifestyle modifications

Addressing Acanthosis nigricans goes beyond cosmetic treatments; it necessitates a holistic approach. Lifestyle modifications, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight, play a pivotal role in managing AN. These changes not only improve insulin sensitivity but also positively impact overall health, reducing the risk of associated conditions.

The psychological impact

Beyond the physical implications, Acanthosis nigricans can take a toll on an individual's mental well-being. The visible signs of the condition may lead to self-consciousness and reduced self-esteem. Healthcare professionals should approach Acanthosis nigricans with sensitivity, recognizing the potential psychological impact and providing support beyond medical intervention.


Acanthosis nigricans is more than skin deep; it serves as a visual cue for underlying health issues. Recognizing its association with metabolic and hormonal imbalances opens the door to a more comprehensive understanding and approach to management. Emphasizing the importance of lifestyle modifications and early detection can pave the way for a healthier future. It's time to shed light on Acanthosis nigricans, not just for its cosmetic implications, but for the valuable insights it provides into our overall well-being.


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