How is acanthosis nigricans treated?

The most effective treatment is obtained through weight loss and exercise. Eating a healthy diet can help reduce circulating insulin and can lead to improvement, and sometimes resolution, of the skin problem.

Other treatments to improve skin appearance, including Retin-A®, urea, alpha hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid prescriptions, may be helpful in some people. Dermabrasion or laser therapy may help to reduce the bulky portion of the affected skin.

Acanthosis nigricans caused by medicine may go away once the medication is stopped.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/02/2015.


  • Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine
  • Acanthosis Nigricans: Clinical Dermatology

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