Being diligent about our usual skincare routine is almost second nature to us now. Whether it is applying sunscreen several times a day or using a night cream that is specifically meant for your particular skin type and concerns, we are all at the top of our games. But would you say that you extend the same amount of care to your neck as well? If the answer to this question is no, then let us warn you right away that this is the perfect way to welcome several problems such as wrinkles, uneven skin tone and pigmentation, including a black neck.
This is because the skin on our neck is thinner and consists of fewer oil glands than the face. The constant wear and tear without any sort of protection that our necks go through also subjects the skin to extra rubbing. Even though you don’t exactly need products specially designed for the neck area, you’d still have to do better than simply rubbing the remnants of your skincare products onto your neck. Caring for your neck and preventing it from showing signs of ageing would surely require more than that.
But if you aren’t sure what’s exactly causing the black neck or how to go about treating it, then we are here to help. In this article below, we are going to talk about all the different reasons why you’d have a black neck, the most common symptoms as well as how to treat and prevent it.
- What is a black neck?
- Symptoms of black neck
- Causes of black neck
- How to get rid of black neck
- FAQs about black neck
What is a black neck?
Black neck, dark neck or acanthosis nigricans is a very common skin condition in which the skin on your neck becomes darker than the rest of your body. Other areas that are most commonly affected by this condition are your armpits, groin, knees and elbows. Although you may feel like this usually happens due to bad personal hygiene habits, it is actually far from the truth. Black neck is actually caused due to high insulin or blood sugar levels. If you notice that you have a black neck, we would advise you to visit a doctor and get the necessary tests done ASAP.
Symptoms of black neck
- Skin becomes visibly darker also known as hyperpigmentation
- Skin becomes hard and thick also known as hyperkeratosis
- Skin becomes velvety
Although these are the primary symptoms, there are other things that can follow these symptoms. The darkened skin on your neck can sometimes also feel really dry and itchy. In worse cases, this skin can also develop a strange odour and can be accompanied by redness, swelling and warm skin.
Causes of black neck
Although having darker skin in the folds of the neck seems like a totally harmless condition, it really isn’t. In fact, having a black neck could actually indicate some serious underlying health and medical conditions. Therefore, it is best to take this matter seriously. The main causes of the black neck could be obesity and as well as high insulin levels. Some other causes of the black neck include cholesterol medicines, oral contraceptives, hormonal fluctuations and hypothyroidism. Another cause that’s related to having acanthosis in nigricans is regular consumption of an unhealthy diet. Eating sugary and starchy foods are especially harmful for people with a black neck.
How to get rid of black neck
1. Weight loss
The best way to treat and prevent a black neck from developing is to actually find out the underlying cause and then treat it accordingly. Since obesity and high blood sugar levels both lead to darkening of the skin around the neck, regular exercise and steady weight loss could actually help deal with it. Exercise and a balanced diet not only help in reducing weight, but also balancing hormones and reducing the blackness in the neck area.
This is an in-clinic skin treatment that must be conducted only by a doctor or a trained professional. The most commonly effective way to exfoliate a black neck is to try chemical peels. This method uses diluted versions of skincare acids that help to gently yet thoroughly exfoliate the top most layer of your skin. It is a great way to eliminate dead skin cells and discolouration to reveal brighter, glowing and even-toned skin. Most common acids used in chemical peels include glycolic or lactic acid.
Another exfoliation method that needs to be conducted by a doctor is microdermabrasion. This non-invasive exfoliation method really helps lift away heavily pigmented skin to give way to a brighter and more even-toned neck area.
4. Topical creams
A simple, common and fairly effective treatment to eliminate a black neck is to try and apply some prescribed topical creams and ointments. These creams usually have exfoliating ingredients such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, vitamin C and even retinol; all of which help gently exfoliate your skin and brighten the entire neck area to make it look more even-toned.
5. Apple cider vinegar
If you are looking for home remedies to get rid of black neck, then apple cider vinegar is a treatment worth trying out. The acidic properties of ACV help in balancing the pH levels of your skin, while the presence of malic acid works like a gentle exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells and reveal softer, more even-toned and glowing skin. To use this, mix four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons of water and apply it to the affected area once a day. Rinse it off with cold water after leaving it on for 15 minutes.
6. Potato juice
Another cheap and amazing home remedy to get rid of a black neck is to apply some freshly squeezed potato juice on the affected area. This juice contains catecholase to brighten up your skin and reduce pigmentation over a period of time. Start by peeling and grating a potato to extract some juice. Soak a cotton ball in this potato juice and then apply it onto your neck, leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off with water.
7. Aloe vera
All of us already know the amazing benefits of pure aloe vera in our skincare routine, but did you know that this star ingredient is also super beneficial to eliminate a black neck? Aloe is brimming with aloin, which is a natural depigmenting compound, and works really well to lighten the darkness around your neck and make the area look brighter and more even-toned. Simply scoop out some fresh aloe gel and apply it to the pigmented area before going to bed. Leave it on overnight and wash it off with lukewarm water the next day.
FAQs about black neck
Q. Can a black neck go away permanently?
A. Although this depends on the intensity of skin darkening and the cause of the black neck, more often than not, this condition can be cured permanently. But in order to ensure that your skin is not getting damaged in the process, we would advise you to speak to your doctor about the best line of treatment for you.
Q. Does black neck indicate diabetes?
A. In certain cases, the main cause of black necks is higher insulin levels in the blood and could indicate the first stage of diabetes. If you notice that the skin around your neck has darkened, then it would be advisable to speak to your doctor and get your blood sugar levels checked ASAP.