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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Noticed dark patches in groin area, belly button and elbow. Could it be acanthosis nigricans?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15828 Questions

Posted on Sat, 29 Dec 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hello
I am just wondering what this might be from
I was at the hospital a couple f days ago and I showed them skin at the top of me legs near my groin area that is really dark in big patches I Har it about 2 or 3 years now and I did have a patch on my belly button and elbow but they went away and te ones on my legs have gotten darker so the doctor took a blood sample and I am waiting for the results now. In the mean time I looked up online what it could be and I found it is called acanthosis nigricans and that some times the cause of it an be liver problems or insulin resistance. When they took the blood sample I noticed the wantedy glucose checked and liver does this mean I could have either? I have also started goin to the toilet the longest every half an hour maybe 20mins I'm quiet thirsty, tired and feel weak at times just now my thighs have gotten a little tingly and maybe 3 little pimples have apeared on them! The doctor took a urine sample on Wednesday of me but nothing showed up but I took the sample an hour before he uses a dipstick thing to test it! I'm waitin on both blood results to get back I'm hoping tomorrow! But can you give me an idea what this is I'm worried and confused now!

Thanks :)
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 4 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

The groin area and any area of the body where skin folds XXXXXXX are termed intertrigous areas.
There are different rashes that can occur in these areas and acanthosis nigricans is definately one of the rashes that can be seen.
Other rashes that can occur in intertrigous areas are erythrasma, intertrigo.
Acanthosis nigricans , as you stated, can be associated with insulin resistance. In the cases where it is as a result of insulin resistance, it is thought that the insulin in the body or substances similar to insulin ,stimulate the skin cells to propagate.
In very rare cases acanthosis may be associated with medications or with more serious conditions such as cancer.
When a doctor is checking for this, they would do blood tests for diabetes and may do a test to check the insulin level.
There is no specific treatment for acanthosis, treatment is aimed at the underlying condition.

The reason they may have also checked to liver may be to check for fatty liver, which is common.If present the liver test may show elevated liver enzymes.Fatty liver also is common in persons with insulin resistance.
It is corrected my modification of diet and increase in activity.

In terms of the erythasma-this is a longstanding superficial infection involving the superficial areas by a particular bacteria.It is identified by swabs and using special lighting to look at the areas.Antibiotics are used to treat this rash.

Intertrigo is inflammation of the skin folds which may be started and made worse by heat and moisture, it may also worsened by infections.
Treatment involve: avoiding friction between the folds, using absorbant powders, avoiding tight occlusive clothing,antifungal creams may be necessary.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 5 minutes later
Thank you! I will be gettin the results tomorrow hopfully and ill know then whats wrong. What do you think of the other symptoms like the urinating frecquently and bein really thirsty and also pains in the head?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 17 minutes later

Frequent urination can occur in different scenarios such as diabetes, excess fluid intake, SIADH (this is a condition where the body cannot concentrate the urine), overactive bladder, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder can sometimes have a non infective origin)
To determine the cause you doctor will use your history and examination to see if they are any other symptoms and signs to point in a particular direction.In addition, he or she will need a urine analysis which may show signs of infection, glucose, or lack of concentration.

Once a person is urinating frequently, they will notice an increase in thirst because the body is trying to regain fluid.

In terms of the pains in the head, it may be related to the decrease in body fluid content.
If it is associated with blurred vision, loss of balance, nausea or vomiting you may want to consider having it re evaluated to rule out any more serious causes.

Feel free to ask any additional questions if anything remains unclear
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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