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: The prevalence rate for Acanthosis nigricans in United States was estimated to be present in 19.4% of 1730 patients from among all age ranges studied. AN was most prevalent among persons with more risk factors for diabetes. Patients with AN were twice as likely as those without AN to have type 2 diabetes (35.4% vs 17.6%).