Which physical findings are characteristic of acanthosis nigricans in patients with insulin resistance?

Updated: Aug 07, 2019
  • Author: Samuel T Olatunbosun, MD, FACP, FACE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Acanthosis nigricans is common in patients with type A syndrome; it causes patchy, velvety-brown hyperpigmentation plaques that are usually found in flexural areas, especially in the axillae and the nuchal region. Lesions may be due to the effect of high circulating levels of insulin on insulinlike growth factor (IGF) receptors in the skin. These eruptions have been reported in nearly one tenth of women evaluated for PCOS.

Acanthosis nigricans is found in a wide variety of clinical conditions that are associated with insulin resistance. It is occasionally a marker of malignant neoplasm.

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