Doctor's Responses Archive

Viewer Question

Isn't discoloration of the skin a symptom of Polycystic Ovarian Disease?
Signed, GG

Doctor's Answer

Discoloration of the skin is not a symptom of PCO, per se. However, women with PCO who develop insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) can develop acanthosis nigricans. This is a darkening of the skin that look like black or purplish velvet texture in the underarm and collar areas.

Any skin discoloration should be evaluated by a physician. If ancanthosis nigricans is found, a search is usually made for diabetes or early evidence of insulin resistance.

Thank you for your question.

Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D.
William Shiel, MD, FACP, FACR

Last Editorial Review: 10/29/2010

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