Dark neck or skin discoloration on the neck is a fairly common skin problem in which many people experience. Sometimes, the discoloration appears in dark patches or a dark ring around the neck. Here are causes of dark skin on the neck and treatments for this discoloration problem.
Causes of Dark Neck
- Poor hygiene. Neck area tends to be neglected while bathing. The poor hygiene causes accumulation of dirt, grime and dead skin cells. A buildup can also lead to infection which worsens discoloration problems.
- Excessive exposure to the sun. Exposure to the sun stimulates melanin production. Melanin is a pigment that determines your skin color. Too much melanin causing discoloration and uneven skin tone.
- Excessive sweating: Uric acid in the sweat can cause the skin to darken over time.
- Diabetes. Diabetes causes the body to produce extra insulin which triggers the activity of skin cells, leading to a dark ring around the neck. If you notice both dark patches around your neck and dark underarms, you may have a hormonal imbalance, or even diabetes. Consult a doctor if this happens.
- Hormonal Imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can increase the secretion of the melanin. This leads to hyperpigmentation. The hormonal imbalance also causes fungus to overgrow. Fungal infection also darkens the skin.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, increased hormones can cause temporary discoloration.
- Medications. Some medications, such as birth control pills, cause the skin to react to the sun in unusual ways and may encourage discoloration on your neck. Contraceptives also lead to changes in hormone levels.
- Obesity. When there is excess fat, the skin tends to fold at the neck and other body parts. The manifolds on the neck make it easy to trap dirt. Discoloration can develop within these folds of skin.
- Eczema. Healed lesions may sometimes cause temporary skin discoloration.
Dark Neck Treatment
Neck skin care is as important as facial skin care. Many treatments for dark neck can be done at home. However, you have to be patient because it takes a while for the skin color to return to normal. Here are a few treatments that can make the darkness fade away.
- Apply a cortisone cream if you are suffering from eczema. This cream is available over the counters.
- Use an over-the-counter anti-fungal medication if you have a fungal infection.
- Keep the skin moisturized. It is very important to keep the skin moisturized if you have eczema. Applying a fragrance-free moisturizer helps calm your skin and prevents it from dryness and irritation.
- Apply sunscreen daily. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVA and UVB.
- Apply Retin A, alpha hydroxy acid, or a lightening cream that contains hydroquinone. Retin A speeds cell turnover to even out discoloration. Alpha hydroxy acid dissolves the buildup of dirt and grime. Hydroquinone is a melanin blocker. It does not bleach the skin but lightens the skin tone by inhibiting melanin production.
- Apply vitamin E oil. It helps even out skin tone and lighten skin discoloration with its regular use.
- Exfoliate your neck skin regularly. Gentle exfoliation can gradually remove dirt and dead skin cells. In addition, pay special attention to the neck portion while bathing to prevent future buildup.
- Treat the dark neck with home remedies. You can rub lemon slices on the dark area of your neck as lemon is a natural bleaching agent.
- See a doctor. If the discoloration on your neck is caused by medical conditions or hormonal imbalance, let doctors diagnose your skin conditions and suggest the necessary treatments.
- Consult a dermatologist. Your dermatologist may recommend prescription skin lighteners or laser treatments to help lighten your skin.