Are you self-conscious about any imperfections in your looks? Do you cover cellulite under layers of clothes, put on high-heels to make your legs look longer or avoid crop tops to hide a surgery scar on your belly? Almost every person can name at least one thing about their body that they hide because according to them it looks unattractive. What if that one imperfection is in a place you cannot cover with clothes or make-up? That is the case of a black neck, a relatively common syndrome, wrongly associated with lack of hygiene.
What is black neck?
Black neck is a patch of skin or lines along the folds of the neck affected by too much pigmentation. Even though it looks like a superficial skin problem, a thorough research has been made to investigate the reasons of the so-called acanthosis nigricans. Black neck is not related to improper hygiene or skin care. Neither is it contagious or infectious. It mostly affects people with fair complexion and if it’s not treated properly, the pigmentation can spread to the whole neck.
What causes black neck?
Since black neck syndrome results directly from elevated pigmentation, prolonged exposure to the sun is the biggest culprit. Whether you suffer from acanthosis nigricans or simply wish to avoid it at all costs, remember to wear sunscreen all year round. In the summertime, you might need to increase the factor of your sunscreen, but do not be fooled by the clouds in autumn or winter. The UV radiation affects your skin every single day of the year so stay protected.
People suffering from diabetes may be extra prone to hyper-pigmentation of the skin, including the neck area. It happens because of the fluctuations of insulin level. Skin cells activity is triggered by this hormone and results in dark patches in random places on the skin. The discolourations may appear on the back, legs or arms, but they are the most common in the areas that get stimulated by UV radiation, ie. face, cleavage and neck. Unbalanced level of insulin is also experienced by overweight and obese people who do not necessarily suffer from diabetes, as well as by those who lose or gain a lot of weight in a short time.
Women have a higher tendency to have black patches on the neck due to more noticeable changes in hormones. In their case, skin discolouration can be triggered by many factors, like prolonged use of contraceptive pills, pregnancy or polycystic ovary syndrome. Study shows that there are more cases of inherited skin discolouration among women.
As the skin ages, it also has a tendency to become darker in some areas, including on the neck, due to many years of exposure to the sun. Even though some types of flat, dark spots on mature skin are called ‘liver spots’, their occurrence is in now way connected to the function of the liver.
Eczema and fungal infections are other common causes of darker skin around neck. Severe eczema does not only bring an itching sensation but also irritates the skin deep enough to stimulate the production of melanin, which eventually causes hyper-pigmentation.
Home remedies for black neck
Since the neck is a part of the body that is almost constantly exposed, acanthosis nigricans may seriously affect the self-esteem of the person suffering from it. Luckily, there are numerous home remedies that may help reduce the visibility of dark patches on your neck. If you use them regularly, they may even fix the problem permanently.
Cucumber has been used in creams, body lotions and cleansing products for many years. It is well known for its soothing properties. If you want to include it in your neck beauty regime, simply grate a cucumber and apply it to the skin of your neck. Massage and gently scrub the skin on your neck for 5 minutes and leave it on for another 10 minutes. It gets quite messy so the best place to do it is a bath tub. Cucumber peeling helps get rid of dead skin cells, stimulates skin regeneration and leaves your skin smooth and glowing. To boost its power, you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice to your home made scrub.
Honey and tomato
Honey has countless properties and is used in medicine and cosmetics in various forms. It’s a common ingredient of moisturising and lightening creams. You can use it at home to make a facial that will help you remove the dark patches from your neck. Mix 3 tablespoons of tomato juice with 4 tablespoons of honey. Apply it on your face and neck and leave it for 15 minutes. Honey and tomato mixed together do miracles to your skin. For best results, repeat it 3-4 times a week until you achieve the desired results.