It is really nice to see so many brave souls talking about their Acanthosis Nigricans, I have been researching this for a few years and it wasn't until I turned 25 that something in my brain clicked and started seeing myself under a different light. It is very hard and depressing having to deal with concealing these dark areas in my body. I've grown up with my mom thinking I was her little princess trying to put me in beauty contests and scolding me for not being confident, something in me just always felt embarrassed to show off my body and she would never acknowledge the growing dark patchy skin on my neck, groin and armpits, saying that I was hallucinating, yet my primary care physician growing up would always have me get thyroid ultrasounds done because my neck seemed bulgier than normal people. Now that I am older (28) and with my own health insurance, I have decided to follow through with my doctors orders and was referred to an endocrinologist, after my first visit with her she asked why had I not seen her sooner? - hence my mother thinking this was all in my head, I almost cried that my doctor felt so compelled to help me and actually noticed and agreed with the discoloration on my body.
I just have to put this out there for anyone else suffering from this, I know what it feels like to feel like you are not pretty enough or not feeling free or having the confidence to wear bathing suits or spaghetti straps or cute summer dresses because even in hiding my armpits by wearing long sleeves I have a dark ring around my neck, living in florida I can't go around wearing turtle necks everyday. Going out to the grocery store, movie theater or anywhere for that matter is so difficult on my self esteem because I feel the pressure of people looking at me like "oh that poor girl and she could be so pretty without that dirty neck ring" I feel people looking down on me and I hate when a cute guy looks my way and feel them look away cause of my problems. I have suffered from deep sadness and negative thoughts due to this condition but I am doing everything in my power to find some kind of solution to this and praying to God that this be something possible in my lifetime and that somehow I can help anyone else who has this and can relate.
So far my Endocrinologist has voted out type 2 diabetes, and PCOS but I do now know I suffer from thyroiditis and Hypothyroid
She advised me to get started on the South Beach Diet
Blood tests show I have hypothyroid, meaning I do not create enough hormones,
She put me on Synthroid 50mg, after a month of taking this it wacked out my period cycle, caused nausea, fever, hot flashes, panic attacks, profusely sweating at night, my body odor also changed drastically so now I've been on Synthroid 25mg for 2 weeks and things are a little better, they are monitoring my TSH levels in the meantime.
She advised to stay away from Rice, Pasta, Potatoes
and has me monitoring my insulin levels with one of those tiny poking machines before and after meals so I can monitor what foods cause the sugar strikes. I haven't been good about keeping up with this one because of how sick the synthroid medicine has made me these past couple of months but I have pulled it back out from my dresser to start monitoring my insulin levels again
I have a follow up with her (endocrinologist) tomorrow on several lab results I will share these with you as well.
I would like to continue to post on here what I have been advised by my doctor based on my AN and Hypothyroid issues in hopes that I can help any of you in accelerating your research and recovery
I will also try and be more detailed on my investigations on future posts, maybe even post some pictures on the supplements I will be taking and meals.
Things that I have tried that do not work to lighten the skin for Acanthosis Nigricans
-Laser hair removal (although hella convenient so I would still recommend doing this anyway for armpit hair) but doesn't do any justice in lightening,
-Chemical peels, lasers, cream lighteners are also a no.
Acanthosis Nigricans has to do with how the body processes and breaks things down so just trying to treat the surface of the skin doesn't do anything, I know cause I've tried all of these before meeting my endocrinologist.
Keep your heads up and stay strong, Acanthosis Nigricans only makes us stronger and more sensible towards other people and their insecurities, these are important qualities that make us human, hopefully we can find a cure for AN