Dr. Cadmus is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and a member of the Skin of Color Society.
During her career, she has completed research, publications, presentations and spent a summer in Ghana exploring skin of color and tropical dermatology. Her professional interests include general medical dermatology, surgical dermatology, skin of color, and cosmetics.
Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a skin condition that causes one or more areas of skin to darken and thicken. Often the skin with AN feels like velvet. People who get this skin condition sometimes mistakenly believe that a dye or something else they touched has discolored their skin. They try scrubbing away the discoloration. Vigorous scrubbing will not get rid of AN. Acanthosis nigricans is not contagious. It is not harmful.
Sometimes, it is a warning sign of a health problem that requires medical attention. For this reason, it is important to see a dermatologist if you notice an area of darker, thicker skin.