Acanthosis Nigricans and Skin Tags as Markers of Insulin Resistance in Non-Diabetic Obese Individuals

Author(s): Arcot Thanjan Maaran1 , Parthasarathy Prathiba2

Insulin resistance represents an insensitivity of peripheral tissues to the effect of 
insulin. Obese individuals with insulin resistance have shown increased prevalence 
of abnormalities of glucose metabolism. Given that insulin resistance represents 
an important risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes. Identification of adults 
with insulin resistance has been proposed as a strategy for identifying high risk 
adult for targeted diabetes prevention intervention.
We performed a cross sectional observational study on obese patients between 20 
and 50 years of age attending the Outpatient Department of General Medicine at 
Government Vellore Medical College and Hospital for minor ailments during the 
period July 2017 to December 2017.
Of the 100 obese individuals, acanthosis nigricans was present in about 61 
individuals. There is an increase in insulin resistance with an increase in the class 
of acanthosis nigricans. Skin tags are present in about 60 individuals. Individuals 
with skin tags have significantly high HOMA-IR when compared with that of 
individuals without skin tags.
Acanthosis nigricans and skin tags are markers of insulin resistance and insulin 
resistance increases quantitatively with increasing grades of acanthosis nigricans