Recently, we delved into who is more prone to get Insulin Resistance (IR). I mentioned that one of the visible indications of IR is a skin change called Acanthosis Nigricans.
Acanthosis Nigricans (also called Keratosis Nigricans) is a reaction of the skin characterized by hyperpigmentation (darkening) and thickening of the skin. Sometimes the skin can even have a velvety appearance. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it before, even if you didn’t know what it is. There are more than 3 million cases of AN per year in the US.
Is it a Disease? Is it Dirty??
Acanthosis Nigricans is not itself a disease and it is NOT dirt! It is merely a reaction of the body to a disease process that it already happening. It’s a sign. It can’t be rubbed or washed off. This visual manifestation of affects the back of the neck, the cheeks, the forehead, armpits, groin, and body folds. It can be very subtle or it can be extreme. No matter what it looks like, it is a sign that the blood sugar is out of control and there is IR. If the person doesn’t already have diabetes, they are well on their way.
Some of the conditions associated with AN along with Insulin Resistance are Polycyctic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and other ovarian problems, Pineal Gland disregulation, Thyroid Disregulation, Adrenal disfunction, and other hormone imbalances. It is also associated with Obesity – which, of course is a manifestation of internal imbalances as well.
Another condition that can typically be seen on the skin of those that have IR is Acrochordons (Let’s just call them “Skin Tags” for short). Skin Tags are flesh toned or darkened protrusions on the skin. Some of them are benign (they don’t mean much) and are just “moles” on the skin. Others are symptoms of IR, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity. These can also be found in the same places that you find AN – neck, folds, armpits, etc.
What Can You Do Right Now?
It’s important that you begin to pay attention to your skin and the skin of your family, even the children. Pay special attention if there is weight gain and obesity, especially in children. This can give you the signal that eating habits, exercise habits, and LIFE habits need to shift.
How Do You Get Rid of It?
There are topical medications that can help diminish the appearance of AN, but the best and safest way to decrease its appearance is to improve your health. By balancing blood sugars, increasing the sensitivity of insulin, releasing excess pounds, and balancing hormones, the source of the problem will begin to go away leaving the skin the opportunity to heal and glow.
Begin making smaller changes on a regular basis. Once those changes take hold, work on other changes. The more you can shift your diet and lifestyle, the healthier you can become over time. If you’d like some help in creating a meal plan, an exercise plan, lifestyle shifts, and a regimen of supplements and herbs, let’s chat. We can work on it together.
Have You Noticed these?
Have you noticed these dark spots on your skin or on the skin of your family members? Did you know what they meant? Let me know!
Until next time,