What Causes Neck Acne And How To Simply Get Rid Of It

Featured Image - Neck Acne

At times, the body may overproduce sebaceous oil, which can leave your skin vulnerable to acne outbreaks. Acne develops when a combination of excessive oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells block your skin’s pores. Acne on the neck is especially prevalent in individuals who frequently sweat excessively, possibly as a result of physical exercise or sickness.

If the breakout springs up soon after a bout of stress or before your period, there is a good chance that your hormones are imbalanced. Such pimples are usually cystic in nature and can be painful, reddish, and easily irritated by hair or clothes.

Because cystic pimples are deep, they can take longer to heal and may leave scars. Most minor rashes respond well to home remedies and skincare creams. Cystic acne, which lasts for several weeks, should be examined by a dermatologist.

What Causes Neck Acne?

nude woman with collar bones and neck clear skin

Pimples are formed when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells. Pimples are common around the jawline, the face, and the chest but can also occur on the neck, especially around the nape. Several factors are to blame, including:

  • Exfoliating or scratching the neck skin aggressively

  • Failing to take a shower immediately after a workout

  • Fluctuating hormones during menstruation and puberty (female hormonal acne)

  • Heavy makeup, sunscreens, and creams cause clogged pores

  • Stress

  • Using soap and body washes containing irritating ingredients

  • Certain medications

  • Hair rubbing against the neck regularly

  • Dirty clothes touching the skin

  • Failing to exfoliate the neck well after a shave

  • Jewelry, especially those made from plastic, some plant-based materials, and false metal

  • Non-breathable materials

Mild acne results in blackheads and whiteheads, while more severe acne manifests as pustules, nodules, papules, or cysts. Cysts or nodules form under the skin, while pustules and papules appear on top of the skin.

Your doctor should closely monitor abnormal bumps. They could also indicate the following conditions:

  • Skin infection

  • Skin cancer

  • Keloid

  • Infected cyst

How To Treat Neck Acne

neck of a woman with two moles

There is a wide spectrum of zit treatments that can be administered. OTC drugs, home remedies, and at-home treatments can help eliminate mild spots. If yours is severe, have a dermatologist evaluate you.

Do not be tempted to pick at or pop the bump; otherwise, you could cause scarring. You also risk introducing bacteria from your hands to the affected area.

OTC Products

Minor pimples should clear after several days of applying OTC products. However, it may take weeks or even months for severe neck acne to respond to some of the products.

Subsequently, you may also learn more about the benefits of microdermabrasion. Once the symptoms have disappeared, you may need to continue using the product for a few more days to prevent a recurrence.

Several OTC creams can be used to treat acne, including gels, lotions, creams, and more. It is crucial that you read the instructions carefully to ensure they are used correctly. The best ingredients include:

  • Salicylic acid — dries out the scars, causing them to peel

  • Benzoyl peroxide — kills acne-causing bacteria

  • Sulfur — attacks the acne-causing bacteria and unclogs the pores

Should you experience an allergic reaction upon using any of the OTC products, such as redness or persistent burning, discontinue the product and consult your dermatologist.

Prescription Medication

If you are experiencing a severe acne outbreak around your neck, have a dermatologist evaluate you for a proper diagnosis. Cystic neck acne is diagnosed by its clinical appearance. Even with the absence of nodules, pink scars that settle after remission may still be present. Unless your doctor suspects folliculitis caused by yeast, a biopsy may not be necessary.

The treatment may include oral, topical, or extraction medication. While hormonal therapies, including the use of oral contraception, may prevent a further outbreak of pimples, acne around the neck area may require combination therapy. That means oral antibiotics may be prescribed.

Home Remedies

Home remedies can speed up the healing process for acne. These acne treatments include:

  • Cleaning the area with mild soap and warm water

  • Avoid scratching the pimple

  • Placing a warm compress over the affected area for about 10 minutes at least twice daily

  • Staying away from UV exposure

A variety of home remedies, such as masks, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar, can cure cystic acne. Orally injected, vitamin A shows variable effects. Although some people use Biotin, it is necessary to understand that it is a vitamin cofactor necessary for healthier skin and hair but often has limited effects on acne.

Essential oils can also be used to clear neck acne, given that most have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They include:

  • Rosehip oil

  • Tea tree oil

  • Sandalwood oil

  • Evening primrose oil

  • Lavender oil

Your diet can also contribute to the eruption of bumps around your neck. Greasy foods, for instance, can worsen your acne outbreak. Foods with high glycemic indexes [1] are also culprits for flare-ups.

black and white portrait of woman showing her neck

3 Easy Ways to Prevent Neck Acne Outbreak

Several ways can be employed to prevent an outbreak around the neck. By incorporating these tips into your prevention strategy, you can improve your chances of keeping neck acne at bay. Remember, a consistent and gentle skincare routine can go a long way in maintaining healthy and clear skin.

  1. Rethink Your Grooming Routine

Your facial hair could be contributing to the acne outbreak on your neck. Beard tends to hide bacteria and oils, which can then clog the pores leading to an outbreak on the neck and chin. It is advisable that you shampoo and exfoliate your beard and hair regularly. 

This is a regimen that will also get rid of excess skin cells, which could clog the pores. A single-blade razor might also help in the prevention of acne. Multiple blades often irritate the skin. Remember to also get a shaving cream designed for sensitive skin.

  1. Wear Breathable Clothes

A lot of people suffer from acne mechanica. This is a type caused by friction from clothes. People who fail to shower immediately after a workout are at a higher risk of this type of acne. Keep off clothes that hug the body too tightly. If you live in humid areas, wear clothes that give the neck area breathing space.

Most neck pimples disappear on their own, while others respond quickly to over-the-counter products or home remedies. It is possible to prevent them by making proper lifestyle changes and practicing good hygiene.

However, if you experience severe and painful acne, consult a dermatologist. If the pimple has pus, lasts longer than 6 weeks, contains a hard lump, bleeds, heals but returns too soon, or causes emotional distress, have a dermatologist evaluate it.

  1. Avoid Using Harsh Hair Products

The hair products you use, such as hair sprays, gels, and serums, can have an impact on the skin around your neck. Some of these products contain ingredients that may clog pores or irritate the skin, leading to acne breakouts.

To prevent neck acne, opt for hair products labeled as non-comedogenic or oil-free. These products are less likely to clog pores and contribute to acne formation. Additionally, try to keep hair products away from the neck area while applying them to avoid any potential contact with the skin.

clear skin collar bone and neck with white tank top

Frequently Asked Questions

Can tight clothing cause neck acne?

Tight clothing can trap sweat and bacteria, leading to neck acne breakouts. Wearing loose-fitting and breathable fabrics can help prevent this.

Is it safe to pop neck acne?

Popping acne can lead to infection, scarring, and further inflammation. It’s best to avoid popping and instead use appropriate treatments.

Can stress worsen neck acne?

Yes, stress can trigger hormonal imbalances that contribute to neck acne. Managing stress through relaxation techniques is beneficial.

What are some non-comedogenic skincare products for neck acne?

Look for products labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free” to avoid clogging pores. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin can be beneficial.

Does neck acne have any long-term effects?

While neck acne itself may not have long-term effects, severe or untreated acne can lead to scarring. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can help prevent scarring.

black and white collar bone and neck acne


Neck acne is a prevalent issue that can affect people of all ages. By understanding the causes, prevention strategies, and effective treatments, individuals can take proactive steps to manage neck acne and achieve healthier, clearer skin. Consistently following a gentle skincare routine, maintaining good hygiene practices, and making lifestyle adjustments can contribute to reducing neck acne outbreaks.

Remember that consistency and patience are key when dealing with acne. Finding the right skincare routine, addressing hormonal imbalances, and seeking professional help when needed can make a significant difference in overcoming neck acne. With determination and proper care, individuals can regain their confidence and enjoy a smoother, acne-free neck.

Also, check out the other comparison review I did below for more options on facial care procedures: