Acanthosis nigricans

What is it?

Acanthosis nigricans is a common skin pigmentation disorder characterised by velvety patches of skin that usually appear on the skin mainly in the skin folds and creases such as armpits, neck or groin. The most common cause of acanthosis nigricans is being very overweight. Others include Type 2 Diabetes, PCOS etc

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of acanthosis nigricans is patches of skin that are darker and thicker than usual. The affected areas of skin may also itch or have an odor.

Home Remedy


  • A HEALTHY DIET One of the most important things you can do to get your symptoms under control is to eat a healthy, calorie controlled diet. Losing weight can make a huge difference to your condition especially if the discoloration is a result of diabetes or prediabetes * GET SOME EXERCISE As well as being good for your health in general, exercising regularly can also help you to lose weight and control the symptoms of both diabetes and acanthosis nigricans * COCONUT OIL WITH CAMPHOR Melt some virgin coconut oil in a pot and add a pellet of camphor. Remove your coconut oil from the heat then allow the camphor to dissolve completely. Let the mixture cool down then apply it to the dark areas of skin. Repeat the remedy a few times each day.
  • TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL Dilute a few drops of your essential oil with a spoonful of virgin coconut oil or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture to the affected area of your skin each day. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to the bathtub and take a long soak.
  • LEMON JUICE Squeeze out the juice of a medium sized lemon and add a drop of water. Use a cotton ball to apply it to the affected area of skin. Let the juice work for at least 20 minutes before rinsing it away with cold water. Repeat twice daily for as long as necessary.
  • YOGURT AND LIME JUICE Add a teaspoon of fresh lime or lemon juice to half a cup of plain yogurt and stir well. Apply the yogurt mixture to the affected part of your skin. Allow to work for around 20 minutes then rinse it of with clean water. Repeat once or twice a day. * OTHER HOME REMEDIES Other topical remedies that may help diminish the pigmented appearance of your skin include neem, aloe vera and honey.


  • Avoid eating too many sugars and fatty food to avoid weight gain
  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle

Things to watch out for

Although it’s usually harmless, it’s best to get any skin changes checked out. In rare cases, it can be a sign of something more serious, such as cancer.
You may need some tests if your GP is not sure what’s causing the patches.

Think you might have Acanthosis nigricans?

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Think you have Acanthosis nigricans?