Dark neck and thickened skin can be embarrassing for many people. Usually, people try to use numerous creams and beauty items for skin lightening around the neck or armpit. What we need to know here is that the dark thickened skin fold is a sign of deeper insulin resistance issues than just beauty!
Clinically referred to as Acanthosis nigricans, the skin is dark, coarse and thickened with a velvety texture, symmetrically distributed to the neck, axillae, antecubital and popliteal fossae, and groin folds. It is a reactive skin alteration closely associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia; endocrine disease; or malignancy.
Acanthosis nigricans is associated with metabolic syndrome and is primarily observed in obese and PCOS cases are caused by overproduction of hormones, primarily glucocorticoid, androgen and insulin.
Eating too many of the junk foods, particularly refined sugar and carbohydrates, may cause insulin resistance. This would result in higher levels of insulin. Many patients with acanthosis nigricans have higher insulin levels than those of the same weight without acanthosis nigricans.
Increased insulin levels in the body stimulate insulin receptors in the skin, making it develop abnormally. Reducing circulating insulin by dieting or medication can lead to an improvement in the skin issue.
Treatment for Darkening of Skin
Acanthosis nigricans is a treatable condition, however, it is difficult to achieve complete cure and disappearance of lesions. One of the is the most scientific and practical management strategy is Weight reduction.
Treatment of AN is usually unsatisfactory or frustrating. External creams are partially effective. Majorly treatments are focused on correcting the contributing factors such as obesity, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance related PCOS.
Ayurveda prescribes use of herbal alternatives to insulin sensitizers along with therapies like Udvartana, Classical Virechana and weight management and treatment for insulin resistance. Ideally treating the root cause plays vital role here.
There has to be a lifestyle changes in diet and exercise which can correct insulin resistance. Beauty of this is once you lose weight and correct insulin resistance one can see remarkable changes in skin and it becomes lighter.
Care and Prevention
- Lifestyle modifications like regular exercise, Healthy diet and reducing weight if obese.
- One can use Ayurveda Herbal scrubs, Eladi choorna or massages like Udvartana which not only help in weight loss and cellulites even works great herbal scrub.
- Intake of Warm water with lemon or Wheat grass juice helps in insulin resistance and further arrest progression.
- As melanin has no role to play in the pigmentation so fairness creams or SPF sunblock wont work in reducing darkening.
- If one has been having dark neck with overweight and family history of diabetes, its extremely important to prevent it by losing weight and opting for healthy lifestyle than any creams.