Acanthosis nigricans is a general term that describes a symptom -- a blackening of the skin -- not a specific skin condition. Although acanthosis nigricans is not dangerous by itself, the underlying condition causing it may be, so it is important to consult a doctor if the symptom appears. Various factors and diseases can lead to acanthosis nigricans, and treatment and prognosis depend on the initial cause.


1. What is Acanthosis Nigricans?

Acanthosis nigricans is a discoloration, or hyperpigmentation, of the skin, often coupled with a thickening that results in a velvety texture. The symptom may be benign or malignant. Malignant acanthosis nigricans is caused by cancerous cells in the body, while the benign forms have a variety of causes. The condition can affect people of all ages and genders.

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