Medically the review by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — composed by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA on might 11, 2018

The skin on the neck is vulnerable to darkening, whether because of hormones, sunlight exposure, or other skin-related conditions. A human whose neck dims or turns black may also notice changes come the texture of your skin, such as thickening or emotion softer 보다 the neighboring skin.

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While most causes of a black neck room not medical emergencies, it is constantly best to check out a doctor for a suitable diagnosis.

In this article, us look at the possible causes that a black neck, and the treatment options.


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Share top top PinterestAcanthosis nigricans can reason dark, thick skin on the neck. Picture credit: Vandana Mehta Rai MD DNB, C Balachandran MD (2010, in march 14).
Possible causes of a black color neck include:

Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans can cause dark, thick skin top top the neck. The skin may have a comparable texture to velvet.

This condition can show up suddenly, but it is not contagious nor walk it existing a risk to a person’s health.

People who room obese and also those with diabetes are at higher risk that the condition.

In rarely instances, acanthosis nigricans can indicate a more serious underlying medical condition, such as stomach or liver cancer.

Dermatitis neglecta

Dermatitis neglecta is a skin condition that occurs when a person has a buildup of dead skin cells, oil, sweat, and also bacteria on your skin. The buildup that debris reasons discoloration and also skin plaques.

The neck is a common place because that dermatitis neglecta come develop, often since of insufficient cleansing with soap, water, and friction to eliminate excess skin cells.

Dyskeratosis congenita

Also known as Zinsser-Engman-Cole syndrome, dyskeratosis congenita reasons hyperpigmentation that the skin the the neck. The neck might look dirty.

In addition to dark patches on the neck, the problem can cause white patches inside the mouth, ridging that the fingernails, and also sparse eyelashes.

Erythema dyschromicum perstans

Erythema dyschromicum perstans, or ashy dermatosis, causes slate-gray, dark blue, or black color irregularly-shaped patches of skin top top the neck and also upper arms. Patches have the right to sometimes appear on the torso.

The problem is benign and does not indicate any type of underlying clinical conditions.

High blood insulin levels

When a person has actually chronically high insulin levels, they deserve to experience locations of hyperpigmentation top top the neck, specifically on the earlier of the neck. This occurrence is usual in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP)

LPP is an inflammatory condition that reasons scarring to construct on areas of the body. Symptoms include grey-brown to black color patches ~ above the face and also neck. The patches space not itchy.

Tinea versicolor

Tinea versicolor is an epidemic of the fungus Mallassezia furfur. While this form of yeast is naturally existing on the skin, too lot of that or an overgrowth can reason dark patches on the neck, back, chest, and arms.

The skin may show up especially dark if a person has recently been exposed to the sun. The skin spot may also itch.


A doctor will diagnose the cause of a black neck by questioning a person around their medical background and any recent transforms to medications or way of living habits, together as sunlight exposure.

They will visually check the neck and also may to express the human being to a dermatologist if the cause is not clear.

A doctor may also perform some of the following tests to recognize a potential basic cause:

Blood tests: A test might be carried out for blood sugar or hormone levels.Skin sample: A skin scraping or biopsy might be excellent to determine if fungal cells are present.

Once a medical professional determines the reason of black neck, they will recommend condition-specific solutions.

Treatments for each of the above condition may include:

Tinea versicolor: A doctor will commonly treat fungal infections with antifungal ointments that deserve to be applied to the skin. Severe situations may require oral anti-fungal medications.Dermatitis neglectans: Scrubbing v soap and water can often reduce the illustration of a black color neck indigenous dermatitis neglectans. A human may great to soak the neck in a bath or use a warm compress to ease stubborn debris.Acanthosis nigricans: when there are skin-lightening creams and scrubs the promise to minimize skin darkening connected with acanthosis nigricans, these are usually ineffective. Addressing the underlying causes may help, such as controlling blood street levels and also losing weight.Hyperpigmentation: therapy for hyperpigmentation may encompass topical tretinoin, a form of retinoic acid that urges skin cell turnover. Laser therapies might also help to minimize the incidence of hyperpigmentation.

Other treatments will depend upon a who underlying condition and also overall health.

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Positive skincare and also lifestyle actions may assist to minimize the incidence the a black color neck. A person deserve to take preventative actions by:

washing the skin with soap and water double dailyusing exfoliating scrubs to help get rid the dead skinapplying sunscreen dailyeating a healthful diet v plenty of fruits and vegetables

Many companies case their commodities can help lighten the skin, but research has discovered that there is no conclusive evidence to assistance the effectiveness of the following ingredients:

arbutinazelaic acidkojic acidlicoricemulberryturmeric

However, it is possible that using products at house could carry out some results. A human should always apply a new product come a small area or test patch an initial and wait 24 hours to certain they space not allergic or perceptible to the substance.