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.
The skin changes of acanthosis nigricans (ak-an-THOE-sis NIE-grih-kuns) typically occur in people who are obese or have diabetes. Children who develop the condition are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Rarely, acanthosis nigricans can be a warning sign of a cancerous tumor in an internal organ, such as the stomach or liver.
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.