Why Does Skin Darken Around The Neck And How To Treat It

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Why Does Skin Darken Around The Neck And How To Treat It

Dark patches on the visible upper part of the body can have a negative impact on someone’s psyche.

Why does skin darken around the neck and how to treat it

Image Source: Dinodia

Flaunting a clean skin without any breakouts or dark patches is a dream for many. You would be surprised to know that one of the major reasons for darkening of skin around the neck is simply not cleaning it thoroughly during the shower. Dr. Aanchal Panth, MD, Dermatologist, explains in detail why dark patches may appear on the skin and what treatments or home remedies are easily available. 

Various Causes Of Darkening Of The Skin

Acanthosis Nigricans

This is a skin condition that occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin produced by the pancreas. When this happens, it triggers an overproduction of insulin in pancreas, leading to the thickening of the skin. As the skin thickens, it tends to become darker in colour and velvety in texture and some body parts like neck, armpit, crotch, area under the breast may start to show multiple skin tags. 

Excessive friction on the skin

Sometimes excessive friction of objects and/or fabric can also cause the skin to darken. You may have noticed the neck of people who wear thick chains tend to appear dark at places where the chain comes in contact with the neck. Unlike women who tend to remove their jewellery at the time of going to bed, men generally do not remove chains from around their neck. The constant rubbing of the chain against the skin leads to darkening of the skin. Friction on the skin also occurs in overweight people, as folds at the back of the neck continue to rub against each other, causing thickening and darkening in that area.

Reaction to medications

We all have different body types and certain medicines (for example, tetracycline) may react to a particular body type in a harsh way, leaving patches on the skin and neck, which may lead to skin darkening over time. 

How to keep the skin darkening under check?

  • First and foremost, Dr. Aanchal recommends keeping a watch on body weight. One should develop a routine of regular exercise and a healthy diet. It is important to reduce sugar and carbohydrate intake and work on including more fibre and protein in the diet. An exercise routine of at least half an hour every day should be incorporated. As you lose weight you will notice the darkening in the neck begin to lighten over time. 
  • Avoid going to bed with any jewellery on (such as a chain around your neck).  It is also advisable to wear loose clothes that do not tug tight against the neck or skin in general. Opt for an open-neck t-shirt in soft fabric that does rub against the skin, especially around the neck.
  • Do not scrub the darkened skin area. The reason is that since the darkening has occurred due to friction, scrubbing will only give a wound. And this wound, over a period of time, will leave a darker patch.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen even on the back of the neck and moisturise it frequently.

How do we treat the darkened skin patch on the neck at home?

  • Dr. Aanchal suggests making an ubtan face mask by combining gram flour, curd, turmeric, and honey. Apply to the neck area, leave it for about 20 minutes, and wash it off, and apply a moisturiser later on. While gram flour helps in exfoliating the skin, turmeric helps in reducing the darkness.
  • Curd when mixed with lemon, can also be a good lightening agent. Add two or three drops of lemon juice to three tablespoons of curd and rub it on the neck. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and wash it off with cold water. However, one must be careful not to step out in the sun after applying lemon as it may cause sunburn. 
  • One can also apply potato juice, as potatoes are a good skin-lightening agent. Grate a potato, squeeze the juice and apply it to the neck. Leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning. Follow this procedure regularly for about a month before results can be seen.

The point is, there is nothing to worry about if there is any darkening around the neck. It all starts with understanding the problem at the root cause. All you have to do is pay attention to general hygiene, not scrub the area, and take charge of your body.

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