If you notice any changes in the texture and coloring of your skin, especially on the back of your neck or in your armpits, you should see your dermatologist. This particular condition, characterized by darkening and thickening
, often leads people to the doctor wondering whether they can bleach or lighten the spots, Dr. Kourosh says. But when she sees it, she begins looking more into their health because it is not just a cosmetic problem. "It is a sign of insulin resistance," and can be an indicator of diabetes
. In some cases, acanthosis nigricans can also signal a cancerous tumor
, particularly in the stomach, colon, or liver.
It may be the result of hormonal changes in your body or be a side effect from certain medications, particularly prednisone or other steroids. Hormone-based therapies could also be to blame. Whatever the cause, discuss these skin changes with your physician.