Acne on neck is a common form of skin issue. The director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NY, Heidi Waldorf, said that anyone having facial acne can develop acne on neck. When pores get clogged due to dirt, acne are likely to occur.

Whether it’s a hormonal or fungal acne, neck acne are no less frustrating. If you have acne on face, hiding them with makeup is easy. However, this becomes more difficult in case of neck acne. To get rid of this type of acne, you should know the cause.

Causes of Acne on Neck

Acne may appear on your neck due to these possible causes.

a) Stress

A 2007 study showed that stress increases the production of sebum oil. This increase in sebum oil further increases the risk of having acne.

b) Long Hairs Rubbing the Neck

Hair products and the oil on hair can clog your skin pores. Though it may not cause acne yet it will worsen acne breakouts. Therefore, make sure to tie your hair up to prevent it from touching your neck.

c) Not Removing Makeup

Whatever cosmetics you’re using, not washing it off before going to bed can lead to acne. You can use a pre-moistened makeup remover towelette for doing the job. Also, cleanse the skin of your neck to get rid of pomades or leave-in conditioners or gels that you may have on your neck.

d) Lack of Hygiene

You sweat after hitting the gym. Excessive sweating lead to oil and dirt accumulation, causing acne. The key is to maintain proper hygiene. Hence, use a clean towel to gently wipe off sweat. Also, avoid sharing protective gears like shoulder pad and helmet.

How to Treat Acne on Neck?

Anything you’re doing to get rid of acne on face will work for neck acne too. Here’re some of the effective remedies.

a) Retinol

The board-certified dermatologist, Hadley King said that retinoids have comedolytic effect. As such, it treats clogged pores. It will reduce the buildup of debris clogging the pores. Furthermore, topical retinoids also reduce the healing time for acne.

b) Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a common treatment of acne. It makes your skin dry. Using salicylic acid will also dissolve your skin’s oil to unclog pores. Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. These properties calm the lesions of inflamed acne.

c) Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria underneath acne. It works effectively on all types of acne. Apply a dab of benzoyl peroxide on your neck. Keep it for 5-10 minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly with water. Gently pat your skin dry.

d) Witch Hazel

If you have whiteheads and blackheads, witch hazel works great. Witch hazel works as an astringent that dries out your acne. Use the witch hazel toner twice weekly. Consider your skin type while choosing witch hazel. It’s best to not to overuse alcohol-based astringent.

e) Laser Hair Removal

Ingrown hairs can also trigger acne. Folliculitis, very similar to acne, often develop on the neck. Laser hair removal removes hair follicles from the affected area. Then, it closes the pores of your skin. As a result, skin infection is reduced.

According to a 2012 study, laser hair removal can significantly improve acne keloidalis nuchae.

f) Tea Tree Oil

Studies have shown that tea tree oil’s anti-bacterial properties can reduce lesions. Tea tree oil works as an astringent, which can remove excess oil from the skin. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with any other light oil like almond or coconut oil. Avoid using tea tree oil directly. Otherwise, it can worsen acne.

g) Rosehip Oil

The anti-inflammatory property of rosehip oil helps treat acne. It can dry out an active breakout. Apply it to the affected area twice daily to get rid of neck acne.

h) Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives can help women having hormonal acne. They balance hormones to treat acne.

i) Clean Your Clothes Daily

An unwashed cloth can be the culprit. The sweat sticking to the clothes can aggravate the issue. Wear moisture-wicking clothes if you sweat profusely. Aim to wash your clothes daily. Apart from it, clean your cellphones, sheets, and pillowcases at least once in a week.

How to Prevent Acne on Neck?

Keeping the skin of your neck is very important to prevent acne. Some of the prevention tips you should know are listed below.

a) Use Hair Products Carefully

Styling and hair care products are the most common causes of neck acne. Moreover, any accumulation of dirt or oil in your hair strand may also lead to breakouts. Therefore, make sure you’re cleaning your neck often.

b) Remove the Makeup Properly

While doing makeup, we apply a little complexion products on our neck too. This helps us to blend the lines, which may have formed on the jawline. But, most of the times, we forget to cleanse our neck to remove makeup from that part before bedtime. According to the board-certified dermatologist, Joshua Zeichner, liquid foundation makeup may block the pores causing acne.

c) Wear Cotton Clothes

While going to the gym or for any outdoor activity, wear breathable fabrics like cotton. Cotton clothes are hypoallergenic and moisture-wicking. Consequently, they will prevent acne formation by unclogging the pores. Plus, cotton clothes are free from potentially irritating chemicals.

d) Mind Your Neck Jewelry

Many neck jewelry have plant-based substances, false metals, and plastics. Neck acne due to jewelry occurs when you’re allergic to the metals used in them especially nickel. However, we understand that it’s difficult to pass up some cute pieces, when they’re super affordable. In such a case, we’d advise you to apply three coats of clear nail polish at the back of your neck jewelry.

e) Control Your Stress

The board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, Donna Hart, says stress triggers oil glands producing acne flares. Emotional stress increases stress hormone cortisol. This, in turn, disrupts the hormonal balance and regulate sebum production. It clogs pores and acne is developed. Meditation can go a long way to manage stress.

When to See a Doctor?

Generally, acne on neck respond to the remedies discussed above. Consult your dermatologist if you’re experiencing any of the following issues.

a) Drain pus or bleed often

b) Painful and severe

c) Lasting more than 6 weeks

d) Causing emotional distress

e) Not responding to the home or OTC remedies

The Bottom Line

Adults as well as teenagers can suffer from neck acne anytime. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, and lack of hygiene can exacerbate them. Sometimes, perfumes and makeup products also worsen the condition. Look for acne-fighting ingredients while shopping for the remedies. However, preventing acne is possible by following the solutions mentioned above. If those remedies are not working, visit a professional.

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