Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
In many situations, treating the underlying problem can help fade the discoloration. Examples may include:
- Lose weight. If your acanthosis nigricans is caused by obesity, losing weight may help.
- Take medications. Symptoms may be relieved by treatment for underlying problems with your ovaries, adrenal glands or thyroid.
- 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:
- Prescription creams to lighten the affected areas
- Antibacterial soaps or a topical antibiotic to reduce odor
- Oral acne medications
- Laser therapy to reduce the skin's thickness
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed March 29, 2012.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Metabolic and inherited diseases affecting the skin. http://www.uptodate.com/index.html. Accessed March 29, 2012.
- Rose PT. Pigmentary disorders. Medical Clinics of North America. 2009;93:1225.
- Owen C. Cutaneous manifestations of internal malignancy. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 30, 2012.