The neck is usually an afterthought in an average person’s skincare regimen, yet it continues to experience unfortunate problems the face is often susceptible to, including acne pimples. If you get pimples on your face, you can also get them on your neck. The skin pores on your neck can get clogged with oil and dead cells and experience bacterial proliferation the same way the pores on the face do.
In fact, pimples on the neck due to hormonal acne are a pretty common problem among men and women, and they are not any less irritating. In some cases, neck pimples can be even more of a nuisance than blemishes on the face and may be harder to conceal with makeup. Clothes rubbing against the skin and sweating can be a wicked addition to the mix.
In the lines ahead, we are going to discuss different types of neck pimples, what causes them, and ways to remove them, so read on.
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Causes Of Pimples On The Neck
Neck pimples, like pimples anywhere else on the body, are primarily caused by the skin pores clogging with excess sebum and dead skin cells. These pimples can occur anywhere on the neck but are more likely to develop on the backside.
Here are the most common reasons for neck pimples.
- Skin type: Some skin types produce more oil than others and, hence, are more susceptible to experiencing breakouts. While you cannot change your skin type, you can adhere to an effective skincare regimen to prevent breakouts. And in case of an active breakout, you can go for a medical intervention to reduce pimples.
- Comedogenic products: The word “comedogenic” refers to the capability of anything to clog pores. Many so-called “skincare” products – including makeup, sunscreen, and topical solutions – can clog your pores, trapping sweat, oil, and dead skin cells inside. As a result, those pores become breeding grounds for bacteria that cause acne pimples.
- Skin irritation: Damaged and irritated skin is more prone to developing acne pimples. The risk of breakouts is usually high after harsh treatments like chemical peels or exfoliation. Certain skincare products contain alcohol, which can reduce skin’s natural moisture. Such products prompt a natural body response that produces extra oil.
- Poor hygiene: Inadequate hygiene may be one of the causes of acne pimples. Many people wash their faces but do not adequately clean their necks. This heightens the chances of skin pores getting clogged with debris and excess oil.
- Hormonal fluctuations: Fluctuating hormonal levels are one of the leading causes of acne pimples. This may be why this problem is more common among women than men. According to research, about 85% of acne-affected women said that their symptoms worsened during monthly periods.
- Stress: While stress is not the direct cause of acne, it does increase cortisol production, leading to the overproduction of skin oil. Stress is also known to cause inflammation, hindering the healing process and allowing breakouts to persist.
Types of Neck Pimples
Acne pimples on the neck can be the following four types.
- Pustules: These are tender, red bumps and are often pus-filled.
- Papules: These growths look pretty much like rashes and are generally raised from the skin surface. These are often a result of skin irritation caused by hair products.
- Nodules: These are painful lumps that develop under the skin and may require medical intervention.
- Cystic acne: This form of acne is the most severe due to its depth and capability to cause inflammation around nerve endings. It is most commonly caused by hormonal fluctuations, typically during pregnancy and menstruation.
Best Ways To Remove Pimples On Neck
Minor pimples are not a significant cause of concern; they clear up in a few days. However, moderate or severe acne pimples may require weeks or months of specialized skincare to go away. And even after the pimples are gone, you may need to continue using acne medication to prevent a reoccurrence.
Below are the most effective ways to remove neck pimples.
Use Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid
- Benzoyl peroxide is a non-prescription and one of the most effective solutions to reduce pustules. Not only does this solution clear pores of excess oil and dead skin cells, but it also helps eliminate acne-causing bacteria.
- Salicylic acid is more effective on blackheads and whiteheads. This solution clears the pores of greasy plugs and helps prevent the future formation of comedones.
Topical Gels and Creams
Retinol helps prevent the formation of acne pimples. Gels and creams loaded with this ingredient increase cell turnover, unblocking pores and preventing acne breakouts. However, with this treatment, your acne may worsen before getting better. Moreover, you may need to continue this treatment for 8-12 weeks to get desirable results. Retinoid gels and creams are available in both prescription and over-the-counter solutions.
Laser acne treatments mainly use laser-induced heat energy to destroy overactive oil glands connected to the follicles and skin pores. It is a highly effective treatment that helps reduce acne breakouts significantly and prevent their future occurrences. The most commonly used laser light for acne removal is ND: Yag.
Oral medications like antibiotics are particularly effective for inflammatory acne, which is generally identifiable with red bumps and pus-filled whiteheads. Women who get acne pimples due to hormonal fluctuations can benefit from oral contraceptives, which are usually available as pills. These pills help restrict progesterone and estrogen activity. Another oral medication to reduce excess sebum production is spironolactone. This medicine is also effective for acne problems in women due to hormonal fluctuations.
Use Long-Term Acne Remedies
Natural remedies and supplementation have been shown to be significantly effective for neck acne, but they must be used consistently over the long term. This treatment is not a quick fix, but it can heal and prevent pimples over time. The most common remedies for acne include:
- Zinc supplements – Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce redness and swelling.
- Brewer’s yeast – Its specific strain called Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hansen CBS can help reduce pimples when consumed orally. This yeast is rich in Vitamin B, iron, chromium, zinc, and copper. It also has antibacterial properties that further amplify its anti-acne properties.
- Fish oil supplements – Fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), both of which are essential fatty acids. According to research, EPA helps regulate skin oil production and maintain necessary hydration. Together, EPA and DHA help prevent risk factors contributing to inflammation, reducing the risk of pimples.
Acne on the neck can be as frustrating and painful as any other area of the body. It can occur for many reasons, from hormonal changes to comedogenic products to stress. Luckily, this problem can be treated and prevented with the above methods.
And lastly, while home remedies are safe and sometimes effective in treating pimples on the neck, the more viable option is to consult a dermatologist.