acanthosis (ak-ăn-thoh-sis) n. an increase in the number of prickle cells in the innermost layer of the epidermis, leading to thickening of the epidermis. a. nigricans acanthosis associated with insulin resistance and overweight, characterized by papillomatous growths, mainly in the armpits, neck, and groin, which give the skin a pigmented appearance and a velvety texture. It may be benign or malignant.
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