A dark neck or black neck is characterized by the noticeable darkening of the skin on your neck as compared to the surrounding skin. Hormonal disorders, prolonged sun exposure, drug-induced side effects, or other skin-related conditions can cause dark pigmentation around the neck. The darkening of the neck can be unpleasant. It is not usually a medical emergency, but it does require a doctor's diagnosis to rule out other underlying causes. The treatment of a dark neck is typically challenging, needing a combination of medical treatment and home remedies.
Causes of dark skin on the neck
Apart from a few medical conditions and diseases, skin darkening is very common in various parts of the body including the dark pigmentation around the neck. Some contributing factors could be-
UV light exposure- Just like darkening in the other areas of the skin, hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin of the neck could be worsened by prolonged exposure to sunlight. UV rays activate melanocytes in the skin which create melanin as a natural reaction, making the skin appear darker.
Hormonal imbalances- Another element that leads to neck darkening is hormonal changes. Hormonal imbalances can cause an overproduction of melanin, and that is why hyperpigmentation is so frequent in pregnant women. This is also the reason why women are more likely than males to develop skin darkening on neck. A medical opinion is thus useful in the case of women.
Possible treatment options to brighten the skin on the neck
Smoking- Smoking has various adverse effects on the overall health of the body. Smoking (and even pollution) can easily take away the natural glow of the skin making it look dull and dark.
Curing hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin is difficult but certain treatments could help. Some of the most popular ones are:
Ingredients to use for skin brightening of the neck
Proper exfoliation- Accumulation of dirt, oil and sweat can also give a dull appearance to the skin of the neck and hence gentle exfoliation of the skin with Alpha Hydroxy Acids like AHA and BHA is advised.
Chemical and Laser peels: A chemical peel or a laser peel uses acids in higher concentrations/ lasers respectively to remove the epidermis to lessen the appearance of hyperpigmentation around neck. Deeper versions may also enter your skin’s main layer (dermis), resulting in skin irritation and other side effects.
Hormonal treatment: As skin darkening could be a result of hormonal imbalances, getting a medical diagnosis could help balance hormone-related neck darkening.
Face Acids- Face acids like lactic acid, citric acid, salicylic acid, vitamin C, etc can exfoliate the top layer of your skin, causing it to shed. When you exfoliate your skin, new skin cells arise to replace the ones that have been removed which can improve the dark pigmentation around neck.
Ingredients to avoid for dark skin on the neck
Face Acids- Face acids, also known as skin acids, exfoliate the top layer of your skin, causing it to shed. When you exfoliate your skin, new skin cells arise to replace the ones that have been removed. The procedure helps to balance out your skin tone and smooth it out. Alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic, lactic, citric, malic, or tartaric acid, azelaic acid, kojic acid, salicylic acid, and vitamin C are all popular choices (in the form of l-ascorbic acid).
AHA and BHA- AHA and BHA are gentle on the skin and exfoliate the dead skin cells, leaving behind a brighter complexion. They also unclog the pores and purify the skin deeply.
Niacinamide- Niacinamide protects the skin from damage and helps in a brighter appearance of the skin by countering the dullness caused by skin damage.
How to prevent dark skin on the neck?
Sulfates: Sulfates such as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are harsh, abrasive, and drying compounds that are widely found in cleansers, body washes, and shampoos. They irritate and corrode the skin, leading to increased dryness and dullness of the skin. They can also lead to hyperpigmentation on neck.
Ammonia- Ammonia compounds have adverse effects on the skin and can lead to a dull appearance of the skin.
- Prolonged UV exposure is one of the main causes of skin darkening on neck. Using sunscreen daily could be a great preventive measure to prevent tanning and hyperpigmentation on neck. Never forget to apply sunscreen on your neck!
- Regular health checkups in the case of women could help maintain hormonal balance and thus prevent dark neck.
Deconstruct’s Range of products for skin brightening of the neck-
- Proper exfoliation of the neck could prevent deposition of dirt, oil and sweat on the skin aiding in a bright-looking neck.
While treating hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin on any part of the body is tricky but several chemicals such as Vitamin C, AHA, BHA, Niacinamide, Kojic Acid, Lactic Acid, etc could reduce the dark appearance of the dullness. Proper skin exfoliation and prevention of UV light exposure are advised as a precaution. Sudden darkening of the neck could also be a consequence of insulin resistance and other medical conditions and need to be diagnosed by medical professionals.
- Why do our necks get darker?
Prolonged sun exposure boosts the production of melanin leading to skin darkening. As our neck is mostly uncovered by clothing it can directly come under sun exposure and thus darken.
- What is the best way to get rid of a dark neck?
Proper exfoliation using various face acids, preventing skin dryness and limiting sun exposure can help treat the dark skin on the neck.
- How long does it take to treat the darkening of the neck?
All kinds of hyperpigmentation are difficult to cure. But proper care and regular skincare can make you see visible results in about 3 to 24 months.