Acanthosis Nigricans (Skin darkening around the neck, armpits, groin, etc)
Causes And How to Manage it. (See Pictures below 😱😱)
Acanthosis Nigricans is a very common seemingly skin condition but it is actually not a skin condition. It is a deeper problem involving hormones like estrogen, insulin and more.
… 😏 … you mean I cannot just apply something and it’s gone?
… Nope 👎🏿… keep reading to learn what to do about it and share this article. I bet you know someone with this very common problem
It is one of the earliest signs of diabetes, insulin resistance, underlying dangerous medical condition contributed by being overweight, especially, central obesity (belly fat).
As you read down, you will see the connection between acanthosis nigricans, diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), other women conditions like uterus fibroids and acne. Collectively, these stack of syndromes is called Metabolic Syndrome.
Either angle you look at it, they contribute to over 80% of health & beauty issues in women, even men.
In this article, you will learn what causes this condition that could be an early sign of diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
You will also learn how you can naturally manage the condition, prevent diseases like belly fat, diabetes, hypertension, and acne.
Hint: applying creams and lotions to treat it is like applying a bandage to a wound without treating it. It will continue to expand and rot underneath the bandage.
Images in this article
I have included images that are revealing – the thing is, I do not expect anyone underage is reading my articles.
This article is meant for a mature audience. Viewer discretion advised.
Continue if Over 18 … Otherwise close this page
We have also designed a better way to deal with the underlying cause of this problem. This stack primarily targets weight loss, blood sugar control, and insulin control.
We will tackle the difference between having insulin resistance and being diabetic. Most people with insulin resistance (usually has belly fat) are not diabetic.
So What is Acanthosis Nigricans?
Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is characterized by dark, coarse and thickened skin with a velvety texture (1). It is usually symmetrically distributed on: –
- the neck
- the armpits
- the knuckles
- elbow joints
- knee joints
- groin folds
Acanthosis Nigricans of the Neck
Acanthosis Nigricans Groin
Pay attention to small skin growth called skin tags. Skin tags are frequently found in people with insulin resistance, overweight and/or diabetic
Notice in the images below, the clear difference between the affected areas and the rest of the body. There is a tendency for most people to say … it runs in our family…
True… health conditions that causes Acanthosis Nigricans are mostly hereditary/Genetic.
Acanthosis Nigricans of the Knuckles
Acanthosis Nigricans of Elbow Joints
What Causes Acanthosis Nigricans?
Research has demonstrated that the commonest cause of acanthosis nigricans is related to the insulin hormone. Insulin hormone helps your muscles to utilize sugar.
Insulin hormone is produced by the pancreas and it is responsible for keeping your blood sugar under control, together with another hormone called glucagon.
When the pancreas produces insulin but the receptor cells in the muscles are not sensing the insulin, this condition is called Insulin Resistance.
Insulin Resistance Definition.
Insulin resistance is a condition when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood (2). As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells but the cells fail to pick up the sugar from your blood streams.
Insulin resistance is also called in medical terms as “Pre-Diabetes”.
What is Pre-diabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition where your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
From the definition of insulin resistance above, you can see that your pancrease is producing insulin to help your cells take and use sugar from the bloodstream but it is not working.
If the sugar continues to accumulate in your bloodstreams, over time, you can develop type 2 diabetes.
The commonest and the earliest sign of insulin resistance is Acanthosis Nigricans.
Who is Likely to Have Acanthosis Nigricans, a Sign of Insulin Resistance & Pre-diabetes?
People who have genetic or lifestyle risk factors are more likely to develop insulin resistance or prediabetes. Risk factors include
- overweight or obesity (you may have head stories somebody lost weight and conceived a baby or got rid of acne, etc. Read point #9 below)
- age 45 or older
- a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- Africans, African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander American ethnicity
- physical inactivity (causes point #1 🙂 )
- health conditions such as high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels (Point #1 causes these 🙂 )
- a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- a history of heart disease or stroke in the family
- polycystic ovary syndrome also called PCOS. (I really insist you should read this article)
Think about this for a moment… from skin discoloration to digging deeper to a myriad of other medical condition that affects your health and beauty. Anyone telling you to just apply something on this discoloration to treat it is flat-out lying to you.
Can Acanthosis Nigricans be Reversed?
The primary treatment of acanthosis nigricans aims to correct the underlying cause. Any other measures without managing the cause is a pure waste of time and money!
Weight loss and reversing insulin resistance are the most effective ways to eliminate any skin changes. It is reversible and will disappear as the cause is treated.
While working on weight loss and reversing insulin resistance other treatments like laser therapy may help. But be careful with laser treatment as it may cause scarring and make it look worse than before.
Your safer choice than laser treatment would be chemical peels and retinol.
See our management recommendations below
9 Ways to lower Insulin Resistance (Pre-Diabetes) Naturally
Here are general ways to decrease insulin resistance and eventually manage acanthosis nigricans.
Please note, insulin resistance does NOT EQUAL to diabetes. This is where most people fail when they are told – you’re not diabetic.
1. Get Moving: Less is More. Start Exercising.
I bet you have heard this throughout your life… eat healthily, lose weight and exercise. You may have even tried dieting, fad diets, and detox programs.
99% of fad diets, detox programs that are intense for a short time backfires. You lose weight during the dieting period (and it is mostly water) and gain it back plus more few months down the line.
…I know … I know… I hate going to the gym too! But you might not find too many people working manual jobs and walking from Kibera to Industrial area with severe insulin resistance. They are there but few.
- Avoid lift/elevator: Use the stairs whenever you are going up and down the building. The more you work out your muscles, the more you improve your insulin cellular pump (3) (4) (5)
- Walk to Town: This Uber chap-chap convenience is not all that convenient. The idea is to increase the pumping effect of insulin from your bloodstreams to the cells. Remember, it is healthier to exercise, even without weight loss than weight loss without exercise.
- Go Hiking: Weekends can be fun – so much fun especially hiking and doing fun things outdoors. Mountain climbing for two hours is enough to burn 1,000 calories and a huge insulin resistance gain!
2. Eat The Right Amount of Proteins
One study found out that women who ate high protein breakfast had lower insulin levels in their system 6 hours later than those who consumed low protein – high carb breakfast.
They also felt fuller and ate fewer calories during lunch than those who ate high carbohydrate lunch.
Notice, this statement says, the right amount of proteins, NOT HIGH PROTEINS. Moderation is the key but definitely, you need to reduce carbs.
Expert tip: Try red beans breakfast with a piece of fish or chicken, 1/4 avocado an apple, and your favorite green tea morning beverage. You get high fiber, high proteins, vitamins & you will stay fuller, longer.
3. Add Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Drinking Water.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has been credited for helping insulin levels to stay within normal range. Apple Cider Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal (6).
Expert Tip: ACV also keeps your body in an alkaline state. Most infections, diseases (almost all) and cancers thrive in the acidic body environment.
4. Sleep Early: Get Enough Sleep or Else, Gain Belly Fat!
Lack of enough sleep is also associated with release os excess of a hormone called cortisol (the death or the stress hormone).
Cortisol hormone is released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Stress could be:
- Hunger, dieting & rapid detox programs
- Lack of enough sleep
- Stressful relationships
- Stressful jobs
- A sickness of any kind
- Shocking news like a death in the family
- Injury to the body, etc
Once you understand cortisol, Estrogen, Thyroid & Insulin hormones, you will be able to manage MOST diseases, syndromes, and beauty issues that seemed impossible to manage – GUARANTEED!
5. Eat Right Portions & Never Large Portions
You may have heard that you can lose weight by eating small regular meals (no science evidence) than three large meals.
The basis of this argument is that when you eat small regular meals, you stay full, without the need to overeat in a single meal.
Your pancreas releases insulin based on the amounts of food you ate, especially carbohydrates and sugars (they are not the same)
The more carbs & sugars you eat, the more insulin your pancreas will release. If you have insulin resistance, all that sugar will be floating in your bloodstreams.
Supplements That Suppress Insulin Resistance (FAST).
At this point, we know way too well that Acanthosis Nigricans in most people is caused by insulin resistance (pre-diabetes).
If you missed everything else or didn’t understand anything, this is one part that you need to follow me closely.
Because, once you understand these supplements, you will understand a lot more about how to manage insulin resistance.
You do not need all of these supplements, but some are more important than others. Some cannot be used with others.
I have put them here but I need you to follow instructions closely from here on!
Some may interact with other medications you might be taking like birth control pills, diabetes medications, and weight loss supplements.
Some may interact with infertility treatment. if you are undergoing such a treatment.
Cinnamon extracts taken in the right amounts can correct insulin resistance – fast. There are different types of cinnamon extracts and the right type and the right dosage is the key to correcting insulin resistance and even pre-diabetes.
The right kind of cinnamon and the right dosage has been shown to be effective in lowering A1C levels in diabetics, prediabetics – so well that some have stopped taking diabetes medications.
Berberol (berberine) is an extract from berberries plant. This is one of the best known herbal & natural supplement that not only supports insulin resistance but also shown to lower BAD CHOLESTEROL that causes heart diseases(9).
With Berberries extract, it has been shown to be better than Glucophage (metformin) in lowering elevated blood sugars, cholesterol, and A1C.
The key for it to work is taking it the right dose, right frequency and for it to work well, it requires to be taken with a combination supplement that makes it more available and potent in the body.
Melatonin is naturally produced by a gland located on the floor if the brain called the Pineal gland. This gland is connected to the optic nerve (the eyes nerve to the brain) and senses the presence of light or darkness.
Then the light comes up, melatonin production is prohibited – you wake up. When the darkness comes, production of melatonin by the pineal gland is enhanced – you feel sleepy 🙂 .
Melatonin is connected to regulation of cortisol (the belly fat hormone, the death hormone, the stress hormone)
Leptin hormone is made by fat tissues. It opposes the feeling of hunger. Ghrelin works the opposite. It is the hunger hormone.
Melatonin in the right doses not only regulates cravings but also increases insulin utilization in the body. Melatonin in the right doses and the right combination can treat acanthosis nigricans(11).
4. Chromium, Zinc & Selenium
There are several other trace elements in supplements that have been shown to support insulin resistance and even weight loss. Chromium and Zinc have been shown to lower insulin resistance and reduce fat mass.
Zinc is also potent in reducing or even treating Acne Vulgaris if taken in the right doses.
5. The Omegas
It is recommended to add a balanced ration of Omega 3-6-9 oils when managing diabetes, insulin resistance or acanthosis nigricans with supplements.
Putting it All Together
Now you have an idea about Acanthosis Nigricans, Insulin resistance and a general idea about so many supplements out there that can help with the problem.
What you may not know from reading this is the right dose, right combination and if you are a candidate for one supplement or the other.