In many situations, treating the underlying problem can help fade the discoloration. Examples may include:
- Losing weight. If your acanthosis nigricans is caused by obesity, losing weight may help.
- Stopping medications or supplements. If your condition seems to be related to a medication or supplement that you use, your doctor may suggest that you stop using that substance.
- Having surgery. If acanthosis nigricans was triggered by a cancerous tumor, surgically removing the tumor often clears up the skin discoloration.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your skin or if the lesions become uncomfortable or start to smell bad, your doctor may suggest:
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- Prescription creams to lighten or soften the affected areas
- Antibacterial soaps, used gently, as scrubbing could worsen the condition
- Topical antibiotic
- Oral acne medications
- Laser therapy to reduce the skin's thickness
- AskMayoExpert. Polycystic ovary syndrome. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
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- Niacin and niacinamide (vitamin B3). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed March 27, 2015.
- Gibson LE. Acanthosis nigricans. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2004;79:1571.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Diabetes Mellitus and other endocrine diseases. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Cutaneous manifestations of internal malignant disease. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Braunstein I. Acanthosis nigricans. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2015.