As a young lady, I struggled with extremely black, dry, scaly neck, elbows, cheeks and legs. I was told to SCRUB HARD….“you must not be scrubbing hard enough.” I would scrub until it hurt. “Try bleach in your bathwater, sure that would work.” NOPE! Nothing worked, so I learned to live with it and cover it as best as I could. Pants to cover it on my legs, long sleeves to cover my arms and scarfs and collar shirts for my neck. The sides of my face were really black as well, I just had to deal with that and the ridicule that came along with it.
It wasn’t until my adult life that I began researching what this was and how as a young lady, I could never get this to go away no matter what I did.
This condition is called:
Acanthosis Nigricans which is a brown to black, poorly defined, velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin. It is usually found in body folds, such as the posterior and lateral folds of the neck, the armpits, groin, navel, forehead and other areas. It typically occurs in individuals younger than 40, may be genetically inherited and is associated with obesity or endocrinopathies, such as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which is a set of symptoms due to elevated male hormone in women. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acanthosis_nigricans
In my case, it was directly related to obesity and was a visible marker that suggested insulin resistance. Higher than normal insulin levels in the blood due to overeating of bad foods causes the growth of darkened skin over certain areas of the body. NO SKIN TREATMENT will get rid of it. Acanthosis Nigricans may lighten up and possibly go away by treating the root cause, insulin resistance but it could take months or years to do so.
Once I began losing weight, I no longer struggle with Acanthosis Nigricans – my legs and arms are completely clear. My neck is no longer black, it is still discolored but could be from sun spots at this point in life. This post is for that young woman that is struggling with this and have no idea how to get rid of it, my advice is to focus on your diet, speak to your doctor about PCOS and don’t use bleach! You will get through this as long as you take control.