Discovering that you have acne on your neck often comes as a surprise, and a worrying one at that. What do I do? Is it treatable? Is it a sign of something more serious? Do I have to wear turtleneck every day? How can I get rid of neck acne?
For many people, acne often occurs on the face. So it is a surprise finding zits on your neck. You may not even see them until you take a closer look at the mirror or someone points them out awkwardly.
But worry not, neck acne is something you can treat with the right combination of products and skin care practices. But before we get to that, what causes zits and pimples to show up in one of the least expected places.
Causes of neck acne
There is not much difference between the usual face acne and neck acne other than the point of occurrence. Facial acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with bacteria, dirt, oil and dead skin cells. Neck acne occurs because of the same exact reason. There are however, some unique factors that influence the occurrence of neck acne.
- Most people tend to neglect the neck area when it comes to skin exfoliation. This means that oils, dead skin cells and dirt clog up more quickly, causing pimples to break out. Pause for a moment and think; when was the last time you exfoliated your neck?
- The neck area is often in direct contact with clothing. The wrong clothing can cause irritation, worsening existing skin acne. This often occurs when you wear tight clothing to hide your neck acne.
- Hormones. Women going through hormonal upheavals will often experience skin breakouts on the lower part of the face, including the neck. Some women experience such breakouts every month during menstruation while others get them during pregnancy or menopause.
Other factors that can contribute to neck acne include the skin care products you are using, a food allergy and in some cases, illness.
Remedies for neck acne
The first step to getting rid of neck acne is making sure you are taking as much care of the skin around your neck as you do the skin on your face. When you are exfoliating your face, reach down and clear out the neck too.
Whether you are using a homemade scrub, a cosmetic exfoliating cream, a facial cleansing brush, or a face wash do not forget about your neck.
It is important to try and pinpoint the possible cause of your neck acne before you try any treatment methods. Try to find out whether it is related to your lifestyle (diet, stress, sleep quality etc.), the products you are using (some products are comedogenic, meaning they clog up the skin causing pimples), the clothes you wear, hormonal imbalances or an illness. A dermatologist can be helpful in determining what exactly the cause is.
Once you uncover the prognosis, applying an effective solution is much easier. Some good treatments for acne include;
- Green tea. With its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, a green tea skin wash can help fight face and neck acne.
- A honey mask. Honey too has antimicrobial properties. A honey mask left on the affected neck area for 30 minutes can help clear the zits. If you can, use raw unprocessed honey. Manuka honey is a good choice.
- Sea salt and olive oil. Rub this combination gently on your skin once or twice a week and remember use a non-comedogenic moisturiser afterwards to avoid dryness.
- Aloe gel. You can get this from an aloe leaf or buy pure aloe gel at a health store. Aloe helps fight inflammation (one of the causes of acne) and reduces scarring caused by acne.
If all these fail, ask your dermatologist to recommend a good acne cream that is ideal for your condition and skin type.
As always, prevention is better
If you are yet to suffer from neck acne, take steps to prevent it. As we have mentioned, treat your neck skin with the same tender loving care as your facial skin. Exfoliate it, moisturise it and keep harmful products away.
When outside, use sunscreen to protect the skin on the neck from damage by UV rays. When shopping for skin products, look for non-comedogenic (i.e. non pore-blocking) ones without too much oil. As for your wear, avoid anything too tight fitting and irritating to your skin.
Finally, keep your skin clean. Wash your neck thoroughly when bathing and if you play sports, take a shower immediately to avoid a build-up of dirt and bacteria.