It’s hard enough containing and conquering acne on your face, let alone having to think about everywhere else on your body. Neck acne is something a lot of us struggle with and it’s tempting to want to hit it with all the products in the book. However, neck acne can be different than the face, especially on the back. Understanding what is causing those bumps and fighting against it will put these worries to rest.
The general concoction that brews a breakout is dead skin cells, acne bacteria, and excess oil. These things build and mold together that create the pesky zits on your body and face. However, acne on the neck isn’t as simple as popping it and waiting for it to heal. Males are affected differently because they have an extra step in their routine: shaving. This alone is a whole other ball game with different strategies to defeat the blemishes. However, neck acne happens to everyone, so let’s dive into what different types there are.
Different Types of Neck Acne
Acne Keloidalis Nuchae
This type of neck acne is caused by shaving the neck daily. These are generally found under the chin and starts from an ingrown hair. The immune system rallies around it and attacks the hair with inflammation. What’s left over is pink scar tissue that forms into a bump. The best way to prevent this is avoid using a dull razor blade. For someone that shaves daily, you may need to switch out the blade weekly.
This isn’t the most common form of neck acne, but it affects many people who live and work in areas that have a high exposure rate to chlorine or dioxin. These can also appear if you swim in an over-chlorinated swimming pool. What happens is that the pores fail to mature properly due to the exposure. This leaves the pores large and open, allowing them to be susceptible to sebum and dead skin cells. The best way to avoid this is remove yourself from the toxin exposure so your skin can have time to heal. If the acne is more severe, you will need to see a dermatologist for antibiotics.
This may be hard to believe, but cystic acne on the neck is caused by having skin that is too healthy. Sounds ridiculous but it’s true! The bacteria grows over pores before they have a chance to drain. Once trapped within, the immune system fights the acne bacteria with inflammation and a cyst forms. This will require an over the counter topical. The process will take about 3-4 weeks before the skin can mature enough to open back up on its own. Once that happens you can switch back to your regular skin care regimen to handle the rest.
When using a medicinal or highly concentrated topical of any kind, be sure to implement a great sunscreen in your routine. One with a Vitamin E will be your best bet to defend yourself against discoloration.
This type is also known as sports acne. Usually these zits are caused by a strap used for certain sports or if you don’t shower soon after the event. You can simply loosen the strap and be sure to really clean your neck right after to help avoid further irritation.
Neck Acne in the Front
So there is a difference between the skin at the front of the neck and the back. The front is just like the skin on your face, so it can be treated the same way. Generally, using more gentile products will be the recommended course of action. Using a mild exfoliant such as a loofah with a trusted cleanser can help the problem greatly. Common topicals to treat acne like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid will easily shrink the blemish. Heavy facial creams and lotions may be the root of the problem, so we suggest switching to something lighter. Certain moisturizers such as Cera Ve can provide just the right amount without going overboard and clogging the pores.
Neck Acne in the Back
This is where treating the problem area can get a little tricky. This skin is much tougher than the front, so you may feel like you can really hit it hard, but that will only make the problem worse. Products that are used for body acne will be better for the back of the neck such as the Exposed line of skin care. They have both a facial and body line of products you can use. They implement some natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil and sage extracts, which really help to get rid of that acne.
What Else Can I Do?
We have a few tips for you to try. Don’t try everything all at once, because you may not know what is exactly causing the problem. Try one thing at a time and you will mostly likely find out the culprit faster than you think.
- We suggest switching for shirts that aren’t so tight around the neck and loosening any strap so irritation can be minimized.
- Consider switching out your shampoo, conditioner, and hair products if they are a bit thicker than others. The residue can run down your neck and stay there to clog up pores.
- Try another laundry detergent and/or fabric softener if you use one. Your dryer sheets may also be the cause. Try opting for one that is more natural or less fragrant.
- Check to see if the current products you use for your face and body are non-comedogenic or oil free. Sometimes, this is all you may need to adjust.
- Try eating less refined sugar. This will help both the body and your acne.
- If all else fails, try getting your hormones checked for imbalances by a physician, especially if the problem area is near or under the chin and jawline.
Anything Natural Worth Trying?
A lot of us worry about applying all these products to our face and body. Sometimes we have sensitivities that are not catered to in a lot of what is available. There are some natural options that are worth a shot such as including a coconut oil regimen. Besides this, there are more natural products out there as well as trying natural ways to help cure acne. Just be sure that whatever you choose, it is the right path to clear skin for you.