Black Neck: Reasons, Treatments, Signs, And More

What Is Black Neck?

A black neck is a type of skin condition in which the skin on your neck looks darker than the surrounding skin.

It may be a warning sign of certain health issues, and makes your self -conscience, however, in most cases, isn’t a sign of concern.

The black neck comes under acanthosis nigricans (a skin condition that is allied with the darkening of the skin and occurs in skins folds areas)

Check Out – Dark Knuckles: Causes & Tips To Lighten Them

Reasons for black Neck

There are several reasons for the black neck, some are not concern cases, and some are. which include:

Acanthosis Nigricans

It is the most common reason for black neck, In which there is insulin resistance.

In this, the body is not to take up the insulin that is being produced by the pancreas, and due to this pancreas starts to make more insulin. (2)

But what insulin actually does? It basically thickens the skin, and due to thickened, skin also tends to become darker.

They can also be the appearance of multiple skin tags, such as the neck, armpit, under the breast, and groin area.


Friction is another common cause of dark neck.

If you have a habit of wearing a thick chain while sleeping or during the day that can also rub the skin and lead to darkening in the area.

Also, if you wear shirts that have thick, stiff, and starched collars, then they can also rub against the back of the neck.

If you work that causes friction in your neck, which over time removes upper skin, and leads to darker and thicker skin.

Sun Exposure

Tanning or exposure can also lead to a darker neck area, especially if you have short hair, wear O shaped T-shirt most of the time, and are a bike rider.

So in this case, this area gets exposed to the sun so which can also lead to the darkening of the skin.

Regular sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, and 10 to 30 minutes several times per week are good enough.

Over Weight

Many obese people have darkening behind their necks, in the armpits, knees, and other body parts with creases and folds.

Darkening occurs when the two surfaces of your neck are rubbing against each other, this leads to the thickening and darkening of the skin.

So make sure that you lose your weight within normal weight, according to BMI (body mass index), so it has to be below 25.

Obesity is not only associated with black neck but also allied with other health issues including:

  • effect mental health include – low self-esteem, mood disorder, quality of life effects, communication problems
  • low bone density
  • diabetes
  • more chance of heart attack
  • difficulty in being pregnant
  • low testosterone level
  • more prone to getting disease or illness
  • decrease quality of life

Lichen Planus Pigmentosus

It was first discovered by Bhutani et al. in 1974, it affects both male and female, and mostly occur in darker skin person (3)

In which there is a darkening of the skin where there is sleep blue kind of pigmentation on the face, especially on the sides.

Then it extends to the neck and upper chest as well, even in this condition you can see dark spots on the neck area (4)

These diseases are identified by dark brown or brown spots on sun-exposed areas of the body (5)

Medicine Induced Pigmentation

Dark neck or other skin areas occur due to intake of any kind of medicines can also lead to darkness such as:

  • Tetracycline
  • anti-malarial medicine
  • phenytoin
  • antipsychotic drugs


There are certain signs of dark neck and other areas of the body, most commonly occurring in the armpit is included:

  • darker skin or neck is the common and primary sign of it
  • thick skin
  • skin that feels soft when you touch
  • itchiness

If this darkness irritates your skin and appears suddenly, then you should consult the doctor, it may be a sign of a health issue (6)

Is a black Neck a Sign of Diabetes?

Black neck, and among other skin areas including – armpits, under the breast, etc is most commonly allied with diabetes and insulin resistance (7)

This happens due to intense cell growth and partiality of fibroblasts caused by an excess of insulin in the body, especially in obese people.

There are some people who are more prone to insulin resistance syndrome including:

  • Type II diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • medicines
  • obesity
  • unhealthy or inactive lifestyle
  • high blood pressure
  • smokers
  • hormonal disorders like Cushing’s syndrome (where the body make too much hormone) and acromegaly (In which, the body produces too much growth hormone)
  • sleep apnea

Other skin areas like armpits, knuckles, etc are allied with obesity, underactive thyroid, insulin-resistance diabetes, Addison disease, etc

Black Neck During Pregnancy?

Dark skin patches or pigmentation on the neck, and armpits, are known as melasma, or mask of pregnancy.’

Melasma is a skin condition, where the body produces extra melanin, (responsible for the pigmentation of hair, eye, and skin)

During pregnancy, some women develop dark patches around the face and neck area, which is common.

Some believe stories said that the appearance of dark skin on your face and neck area means – you will have a baby boy.

Treatments of Dark Neck

Before treatment is important to find what cause of it. if a doctor diagnoses it with health issues, then treatment can be done.

If there is no reason found, then the reason is maybe you overweight, have excessive sun exposure, and maybe you wear a collared shirt during sleep.

Reduce excessive weight, protect the affected area from sun UV rays, and avoid tights, jewelry, and hard collar shirt before night.

What Cream Can be Used To Lightening The Dark Neck?

There are several creams, but only buy a cream that contains glycolic acid, and use it only once or twice a week.

If you have a thick neck with folds then a demonologist may suggest glycolic acid of a lower percentage which is about 6%.

Glycolic acid sometimes may lead to irritation and redness so make sure to apply a very small quantity and only once or twice a week.

Consult your doctor before taking any cream or medicine, because it may interact with your other health issues.

In addition, other creams include – Urea and lactic acid (urea and lactic acid gently exfoliate and moisture) for the black knee.


There are several home remedies that can be used for lightening the black neck.

Remember that home remedies can not treat the underlying medical condition, so first find the exact cause and then will be given an effective treatment.

If your tests are normal and find any medical reason, then you go with certain home remedies.

Gram flour, Curd, Turmeric, and Honey paste

You can apply this mixer on the affected area, leave it on for about 20 minutes, wash it off, and then apply a moisturizer.

  • Gram flour – gram flour will help in exfoliating the skin
  • turmeric – It will stain the skin slightly yellow and this will reduce the appearance of darkening
  • Curd – It is a lightening agent that lightens the dark black color

Lemon and curd mixer

Be careful when you use lemon because lemon may irritate or sensitize your skin in under sun UV rays.

So if use any kind of home remedies that contain lemon, so make sure to avoid going in the sun or on the harsh sun for at least two days.

  • Take 3 tbsp of curd and add 2 or 3 drops of lemon to it
  • mixt this paste and leave it on your neck for about 20-25 minutes
  • wash it off with regular water

Potato Juice

You can also apply potato juice on your neck, which is very effective in dark spots, and an excellent lightening agent.

Apply it the night before sleep, and then wash it off in the morning, it has to be done regularly for about a month, for a good result.

What To Do To Prevent Dark Skin on Neck?

There are several methods to prevent this from occurring which include:

Cleaning – First, your neck or other skin areas, is similar to your facial skin, so give equal care and attention.

You can wear a hat and a broad collar, (not before sleep) to protect your neck from the sun’s UV rays.

Use sunscreen – use sun cream on the back of your neck, so it protects your skin from sun exposure and training, which leads to lighter skin.

Lose overweight – If your BMI is high, then you should keep it under 25, so you have to know how much your BMI is and try to keep it under 25.

  • Regular exercise at least 30 minutes every day
  • follow healthy diet
  • cut down on your sugar, and junk food intake
  • try to increase your fiber and protein intake

Avoid wearing Tights clothes – Avoid heavy chains, and jewelry, before sleeping, as well as avoid tight neckcloths.

Make sure also avoid wearing any kind of t-shirt with collars that can rub against your neck, and wear an open neck t-shirt make up of soft material.

Do not scrub – scrubbing that dark skin area may lead to injuring your skin which will lead to more darkening over time.

Whenever you wash your neck, make sure gently first lather soap and gently run it across your neck.

Down Line

The black neck is a common condition in people with acanthosis Nigricans, and type II diabetes peoples.

Acanthosis nigricans is a common skin condition where the body is not take up the insulin (produce by the pancreas), resultin to making more insulin.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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