Ask A Skin Doctor: Neck Acne

neck acne

Dear Skin Doctor 

Hi I started breaking out on my neck and then it spreaded to the other side of my neck and they were small bumps at first then they turned into dark marks.

I was using noxzema creme and cleansing pads i also was using clean and clear acne control but i stopped using both of those products because I was unsure if that’s what was causing my neck to break out

neck acne

Dear Patient

Causes of Neck Acne

Acne can break out on the neck because of the following:


Hormones are a major cause of neck acne and you may need hormonal evaluation especially if you have other symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS) like weight gain and excess body hair.

Hormones also contribute to the development of acne during the teenage years when the body increases its production of androgens.

Hormonal acne also develops in women during ovulation which occurs before their menstrual peroids.

Skin and hair care products

Oil-rich skin care products and hair care products which trickle down your neck can cause acne. To prevent this cause of neck oily use skin care products labeled as “non-comedogenic” which means they will not clog your pores and avoid the trickling of shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products down your neck.

Stiff shirt collars

Shirts with stiff collars can cause mechanical acne when they cause friction on the oil glands. Bands from hats that go down the side of the face and under the chin can also cause the same type of acne.caan also

Treatment of Neck Acne

The treatment of your neck acne includes:

Hormonal evaluation

Consult your Doctor and find out if hormonal conditions like PCOS may be contributing to your acne. If they are, and you are found to have excess androgens, your doctor can prescribe anti-androgens like spironolactone.

Hormonal acne that occurs due the hormonal fluctuations at ovulation, can be treated with birth control pills.

Apply a retinoid at night

Consult your doctor and get a prescription of a retinoid like tretinoin (Retin-A) or adaplene (Differin) to apply to your face at night after cleansing.

Take antibiotics by mouth

Consult your doctor and get a prescription of acne antibiotics to take by mouth like tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline.

Cleanse and moisturize twice a day

Cleanse the affected areas in the morning and evening with acne treatment products like Clean and Clear Acne Cleanser which contains 10% Benzoyl peroxide.

After cleansing in the morning, apply a moisturizer like Clean and Clear Oil Free Moisturizer which contains Salicylic acid.

After cleansing in the evening, apply a prescription strength retinoid from your Dermatologist or a retinol like PurOrganics Retinol Serum.

Use Non-comedogenic Skincare Products

Use non-comedogenic skincare  products which will not clog your skin pores like Dermablend Oil-Free Foundation and Dermablend Makeup Remover.

Adopt an Acne-Free Lifestyle

Adopt an acne-free lifestyle by doing the following:

*Not picking or squeezing the pimples or cysts.If you want to remove blackheads, use a comedone extractor.

*Joining a smoking cessation program if you smoke cigarettes

*Cleaning your mobile phone with antiseptic wipes regularly

*Avoiding sugary foods like cakes and eating low glycemic index foods like apples and tomatoes. To learn more read How to Treat Acne at Home.

Causes of neck acne

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