Acanthosis nigricans is a common skin condition that can cause dark, discolored patches to form on certain parts of the body, most commonly in the neck and armpits.
An unusually dark neck (a body part that is exposed almost all the time) often leads to feelings of self-consciousness or anxiety about one’s appearance, as well as health complications due to inhibited circulation or poor skin health.
Black neck and dark skin patches can be caused by several factors, including hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy, use of certain medications, or a genetic predisposition.
If you are struggling with acanthosis nigricans, Ayurveda may be a good option for you. Ayurvedic treatments can help to lighten the skin and improve circulation, as well as address any underlying imbalances that may be causing the condition.
In this article we will go through symptoms, causes of dark skin on the neck and Ayurvedic natural treatment options to prevent and treat acanthosis nigaricans.
What is Acanthosis Nigricans?
Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is characterized by dark, coarse and thickened skin with a velvety texture. It is usually found symmetrically distributed body folds and creases in the posterior and lateral folds of the neck, the armpits, navel, forehead, and groin folds.
This change in skin happens over the time. Some other symptoms of acanthosis nigaricans are skin irritation and bad smell.
Dark Skin on neck in acanthosis nigricans can be of two types:
Benign: It is not a health risk as such. Benign acanthosis nigricans can be caused by various factors as medical condition like Diabetes and other factors as genetics and hormonal imbalances.
Malignant: This type can be cancerous in nature. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) and Insulin-like Activity are examples of malignant acanthosis nigricans.
Causes of Dark Skin
Our skin maintains a delicate balance of health and flora on it. It becomes vulnerable to discolouration as a result of intense sun exposure, hormonal changes, or skin health conditions.
The darkness of skin in acanthosis nigricans usually happens due to multiple factors involving genetics, diet, lifestyle and underlying health conditions such as hormonal imbalance, diabetes or obesity.
Listed here are some of the factors that make you prone to develop acanthosis nigricans:
- Hyperinsulinemia or High circulating Insulin levels
- Insulin resistance and high blood sugar level as observed in Obesity, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), Prediabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Deficiency of hormones from adrenal gland (Addison’s disease)
- Growth hormone therapy
- Thyroid disorders as Hypothyroidism
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Certain types of skin cancer or skin conditions
- Usage of medications as steroids, antidepressants, NSAIDs
What causes dark underarms and unusual darkness of skin?
Sometimes, one may find dark patches of skin in body folds due to damage caused by excessive usage of chemicals or improper circulation. This is in fact, one of the chief causes of discoloration of skin resulting in dark underarms or dark skin in the private parts.
Common factors that cause unusual darkness of skin are:
- Tight fitting clothing
- Excessive Use of Hair Removal Creams
- Use of Deodorants and Perfumes
- Hereditary Factors
- Excessive Sweating
- Improper hygiene leading to skin infections and inflammation
Ayurveda for Acanthosis Nigricans Treatment
Ayurvedic treatment for acanthosis nigricans can help to reduce the darkness of the skin and improve its overall appearance. Ayurveda provides with highly effective dark neck treatment options through a combination of dietary changes, natural skincare products, herbal remedies and lifestyle modifications.
Ayurvedic treatment is based on traditional Indian medicine principles and focuses on restoring balance in the body through Ayurvedic herbal medicines, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
In addition, herbal remedies and Ayurvedic therapy help to address any underlying health conditions that may be contributing to the development of this condition.
Ayurvedic Dietary Changes for prevention and treatment of dark skin around the neck
In order to effectively treat acanthosis nigricans, it is important to make some dietary changes.
It is important to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This will help to supply the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly and maintain healthy skin.
- Include more Pitta dosha pacifying foods in your diet. These include cooling foods such as cucumber, melon, and coconut water.
- You should also avoid spicy, sour, and fried foods, as well as caffeine and alcohol.
- Eat more Kapha dosha reducing foods such as leafy greens, tomatoes, and ginger. These help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
- Prefer fiber-rich foods such as whole grains and legumes to help detoxify the body and promote healthy skin cell turnover.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
- Avoid processed foods and excessive sugar, as these can contribute to inflammation and skin imbalances.
- Include probiotics, herbs and digestive spices as cumin, fennel and ginger in your diet to improve digestive health and prevent build up of Kapha and toxins in your body.
Ayurvedic Herbal Remedies for Treatment of Acanthosis Nigricans
Herbal home remedy can be effective to treat acanthosis nigricans in its initial stages. However, for chronic cases of dark neck or ones with underlying medical condition and skin disease should seek treatment with Ayurvedic medicine for permanent relief.
Ayurvedic herbs help to soothe inflamed skin, reduce the appearance of dark spots and patches, and promote healthy circulation in the skin.
They can be taken in the form of teas or topical ointments, depending on your individual needs and preferences.
- Pitta dosha pacifying herbs such as aloe vera and lavender can help to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.
- Kapha dosha reducing herbs such as neem and turmeric can also be helpful in reducing inflammation and promoting healthy circulation.
- Detoxifying herbs such as burdock root and dandelion can help to cleanse the body and promote healthy skin cell turnover.
- Vata dosha pacifying herbs such as Bala, Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Bhringraj are helpful to promote circulation and moisture in the skin and boost collagen production.
Ayurvedic Skin Care to Prevent Acanthosis Nigaricans
Ayurvedic skin care is based on the belief that the skin is a reflection of our overall health and well-being. With these simple tips for Ayurvedic skin care, you can prevent the appearance of dark skin around the neck and maintain healthy, glowing skin.
- Cleansing is one of the most important steps in any skincare routine. Dirt and sweat build-up on the neck can make the skin appear a shade darker than the face. To prevent this, it is important to thoroughly cleanse the neck with a mild herbal cleanser to remove debris and impurities.
- Exfoliation is another key step in preventing dark skin around the neck. Gently scrubbing and exfoliating the neck once a week will remove any accumulated impurities and dead skin cells. You can make your own natural scrub by mixing yogurt (curd) and black gram powder (besan). Alternatively, choose a gentle exfoliator which doesn’t irritate or harm the skin.
- Moisturizing is also important to keep the skin hydrated and nourished. Always moisturize your neck with a mild and herbal moisturizer.
- In addition to following a good skincare routine, it is also important to take precautions against sun damage. Always wear full-sleeved clothes while stepping outside in the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, scarf, or use an umbrella to protect your skin from the sun. Apply a sunscreen lotion, especially on your neck to prevent sun tan and discoloration of the skin. Always prefer natural sunscreens than chemicals based products.
- To prevent dark neck (Acanthosis Nigricans) in pregnancy you should focus on a nourishing diet with minerals, specifically zinc and iron and vitamins, specifically Vitamin D and Folic Acid. This will help to prevent darkening of the skin during pregnancy due to a nutritional deficiency.
- To further support healthy and glowing skin, it is important to stay cool and avoid hot showers or baths. Keep using a damp, cool washcloth on your face and neck after you exercise to reduce any heat build-up. Additionally, try to maintain a cool and soothing environment at home by avoiding hot temperatures.
Ayurvedic Lifestyle guidelines to prevent darkening of the skin
To prevent the darkening of skin around your neck and promote healthy circulation, it is important to adopt an Ayurvedic lifestyle that focuses on maintaining balance in body, mind, and spirit. Some key tips to follow include:
1. Eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado. It will be beneficial to promote healthy skin and reducing inflammation.
2. Get regular exercise or engage in other forms of physical activity that help to improve blood flow throughout the body and increase the production of collagen in the skin. Include walking, running, swimming, yoga, or other activities that get you moving.
3. Try to minimize stress in your daily life by practicing meditation or other relaxation techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.
4. Get regular massages with an Ayurvedic oil such as sesame or coconut to help improve circulation and promote healthy skin.
5. Use gentle, natural skincare products that are free from harsh chemicals and fragrances.
6. Get adequate sleep and avoid negative or toxic habits such as smoking and alcoholism.
Getting Professional Help
If you are struggling with acanthosis nigricans, it is important to seek out professional help from an Ayurvedic practitioner. A qualified practitioner will be able to develop a personalized treatment plan that may involve massage, herbal remedies, or other Ayurvedic treatments.
These can help to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and support the health of your skin. Additionally, by working with an experienced practitioner, you can ensure that you are using the most effective remedies for your individual needs and get guidance on proper nutrition and lifestyle habits to prevent future flare-ups.
Consult with Medhya’s Ayurvedic Health Experts to get your personalised health plan involving prescription for Ayurvedic medicine, diet, yoga and lifestyle guidelines.
1. Why is my skin turning black around my neck?
There are a few potential causes for your skin turning black around your neck. One possibility is that you have a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, which is characterized by dark, thickened patches of skin. This condition is often caused by insulin resistance or an underlying endocrine disorder.
Another possibility is that you are experiencing hyperpigmentation, which can be caused by sun exposure, trauma, or certain medications. If you are concerned about the appearance of your skin, please consult with a dermatologist or other medical professional for an evaluation.
2. What deficiency causes black neck?
Generally, black neck is caused by a fungal infection. However, it’s possible that a vitamin B12 deficiency could also cause the discoloration. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, which is a condition where there isn’t enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
This can cause the skin to look pale or yellow and the lips and gums to look bright red. Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
3. Can PCOS cause dark skin around the neck?
There are a few potential causes for a dark neck, one of which is polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal imbalance disorder involving high androgen and high insulin levels that affects how the ovaries work. Some of the symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods, high body weight, infertility, hair loss at scalp and unwanted excessive hair growth.
One symptom of PCOS that often goes unnoticed is a darkened neck and chest due to accumulation of oils and sweat. If you think you might have PCOS, it’s important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
4. Can acanthosis nigricans go away completely?
Yes, acanthosis nigricans can go away completely with the right treatment. Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder that causes patches of dark, velvety skin to form on the neck, armpits, groin, and other areas. The cause of acanthosis nigricans is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to insulin resistance and high levels of insulin in the blood.
Treatment for acanthosis nigricans usually involves lifestyle changes such as losing weight if overweight or obese, exercise, and cutting back on processed foods and sugary drinks. If these measures do not improve the condition, then you should seek professional help to treat the underlying imbalances and medical condition that may be causing it.
5. Does acanthosis nigricans always mean diabetes?
Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition that causes the skin to thicken and darken in color. The affected areas are typically velvety and may have a waxy or rough texture. Acanthosis nigricans can occur on any part of the body, but it is most commonly found on the neck, armpits, groin, and back of the hands. While the exact cause of acanthosis nigricans is unknown, it is often associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. In fact, up to 90% of people with acanthosis nigricans also have diabetes or prediabetes. However, it is important to note that not all people with acanthosis nigricans will develop diabetes. The condition can also be caused by certain medications, hormonal disorders, and genetic conditions. Therefore, it is important to see an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner for an accurate diagnosis.