Acanthosis nigricans is diffuse epidermal hyperplasia (thickening of the skin). It implies increased thickness of the Malpighian layer (stratum basale and stratum spinosum).it is a skin hyperpigmentation condition which can be characterized by areas of dark, velvety discoloration in body folds.
Acanthosis nigricans is not contagious. It is not harmful. Sometimes, it is a warning sign of a health problem that requires medical attention Most people who have acanthosis nigricans have also become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that allows your body to process sugar. Insulin resistance is what eventually causes type 2 diabetes.
Disease statistics: In 2002-03, 0.001% (178) of hospital consultant episodes were for acanthosis nigricans in england. 100% of hospital consultant episodes for acanthosis nigricans required hospital admission and 44% of hospital consultant episodes for acanthosis nigricans were for men and 56% were women, 3% required emergency services. 51 is the mean age of occurance, 54% occured in 15-59 year olds and 15% in over 75.