Acanthosis Nigricans or Dark Neck, in general, is a type of skin pigmentation disorder in which the skin becomes dark and resembles a velvety texture. Contrary to popular belief, this condition is not a result of any kind of infection and is not contagious also.
Prolong exposure of skin under sunlight, increased amounts of insulin or sugar in food, poor hygiene and aging are some of the causes for dark skin on the neck. In this condition, the epidermal layer of the skin starts excreting skin cells in excess, due to this there is an accumulation of dead skin cells which makes the skin appear dark. A person who is obese or has undergone a sudden change in weight, whether gain or loss, may experience the symptoms too. Apart from making you look unappealing, a dark neck can cause the confidence of a person towards its appearance to decline.
Here is a list of 20 remedies to cure darkness around the neck while staying at home.
- A solution made by the mixture of equal amounts of lime juice and rose water is very beneficial in treating the dark neck. Lemon is nature’s bleaching agent and is used to lighten the skin very often. Use the solution two times a day for at least 2 weeks.
- Powdered almonds, when mixed with a teaspoon of honey and milk powder, gives a thick paste that can be applied to the affected areas. A paste solely made of almonds, soaked for a night can do the trick too. Just try to use this remedy three to four times a week.
- Slice a potato and rub the pieces directly onto the affected area. Potato has skin whitening properties and is easily available in every household. In place of the slices, a paste or juice of potato can also be used. The mixture should be left to dry after application and be washed with cold water.
- Aloe Vera is one of the best Ayurvedic plants in the world and it can easily grow in a home pot. Aloe Vera is known to treat and heal various skin related problems. The juice extracted from fresh Aloe Vera leaf is one of the best remedies for lightening the skin on the neck. Just massage the juice on the neck and let it rest for about half an hour.
- The skin around the neck region gets dark due to the accumulation of excess dead skin cells. These dead skin cells need to be cleared to bring the skin to its original form. A solution of Apple Cider Vinegar which has been diluted using water removes the excess dead skin cells on regular application. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution.
- Mix baking soda with little amounts of water to make a smooth paste-like face mask. Spread the paste all over the neck and other darkened areas and let it dry. Rinse the dried paste with damp hands and use a moisturizer after wash. This remedy can be used daily and the paste can be made in batches.
- Make a paste of oatmeal and milk and scrub it over the neck. For better results, a little bit of honey can also be added to the paste. Use cold water to wash the neck once the paste has dried sufficiently.
- Cucumber is very good at rejuvenating and re-energizing the skin. It is full of moisture and aids in removing the extra dead skin cells from the body. Small gratings of cucumber or its juice can be applied over the neck. Mixing it with lemon juice or rose water can prove helpful too. This is a long procedure often spanning a few months before the changes are visible.
- A cup of Yogurt, a teaspoon of turmeric and a little honey when mixed together creates a great skincare product that can treat a host of conditions and disorders. Apply this paste and leave it until it dries completely. Rinse the neck using cold water.
- A mixture of besan and turmeric which is also known as Ubtan has been used by brides to lighten their skin for a long time. Another version of this paste which uses lemon juice and yoghurt can be applied to the region. Leaving the paste for 15 minutes gives it ample time to absorb the impurities and exfoliate the skin.
- Oranges are also a very good medicine to treat skin pigmentation. The peels or skin of the Orange is full of Vitamin C which is nature’s own bleaching agent. Powder of dried orange peels can be mixed with milk to create a paste. This paste can then be applied to the affected area and washed off with water after it dries.
- Sandalwood or Chandan, when ground on a sandstone, gives a paste depending upon the amount of water used. Sandalwood has an incredibly soothing effect and cools the region of its application. Areas affected with dark skin should be covered with this paste until it dries off completely. The dried cream can be cleared using water.
- Vitamin E pills are actually a bunch of transparent casings in which vitamin E oil is filled. Piercing these pills will release the oil. This oil can then be stored in a bowl and later applied to the skin directly. Vitamin E has a depigmenting property and also helps in keeping the skin hydrated.
- Cocoa butter is also an ingredient rich in Vitamin E. Apart from that, cocoa butter also contains Vitamin A and Fatty acids keeping the skin hydrated and soft. Massage the butter on the neck for 5 minutes before going to bed.
- Almost any fruit which is rich in vitamins, minerals or enzymes can be used to create a homemade face mask. All you have to do is crush the fruit until a pulp-like consistency is achieved. Add anything from olive oil, rose water, lemon juice or yogurt to make a paste that can be applied on the face. Leave the face mask for some time and rinse it off in the usual manner.
- Rich starch, like potato starch is very effective in treating dark skin too. Rice starch is the leftover water in which the rice has been boiled. Massage your neck and face with rice starch after it has cooled down completely. This remedy is best used before taking a bath.
- Natural oils like olive oil, coconut oil, eucalyptus oil, rose oil, and chamomile oil are very good in nourishing the skin. Warming the oil, a little bit brings out the components in the oil. A gentle neck massage with this oil should be done every alternate day to get rid of dark neck.
- Walnuts, just like almonds can cure skin pigmentation also. Just crush the walnuts coarsely so that some little chunks of walnuts remain. These chunks will help in exfoliating the skin. Make a paste of this walnut by adding milk to it. Rub this paste on your neck for 15 minutes and let it rest for 10 minutes before washing with water.
- Milk cream can be used for a glowing neck in a number of ways. Due to its flexibility, milk cream can be mixed with yogurt, gram flour or turmeric to create a paste to treat the discoloration of the skin. All the mixtures make a very good exfoliating cream and can be used daily to get maximum results.
- Honey and Tomato both are very good at lightening up the skin. A mixture of both of them becomes a very powerful skin lightening gel. Apply this gel to the neck every day. Doing every day will heal the dark patches easily and quickly.
Precautions for Dark Neck
Dark Neck is not generally a disorder that appears on its own suddenly during the day. It is the result of carelessly ignoring certain symptoms and tells for this becoming. The purpose and importance of skin are globally known. The skin protects our inner organs and muscles from suffering any external damage. That is why it should be a task of utmost importance to keep the skin healthy and safe.
Here are some precautions to keep you safe from getting a dark neck.
- Since Sunlight is one of its biggest causes, prolonged exposure to the Sun should be avoided at all times. The Sun emits harmful ultraviolet rays towards the Earth. These rays harm the skin and can cause the upper skin layer to burn. If going out in the sun can’t be avoided proper care must be taken to protect the skin. Apply a generous layer of sunscreen before stepping out of the house and try to recharge your sunscreen layer if the exposure to the sun increases. Homemade sunscreens ought to be better than most of chemical-based products.
- Hormones have a role to play in the occurrence of dark skin too. It becomes more common in people undergoing hormone changes like puberty or childbirth. Hormone levels can also be altered by taking wrong prescription medicines or taking pills and drugs which are made for your body type.
- It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of products present in the market, all promising a younger fairer looking skin. Different cosmetic products affect the skin of different people in different ways. Not everyone has the same skin and the cream which worked on a person might have an unknown ingredient that can damage your skin. You can get allergies or develop dark brown spots all over the skin. This is why everyone should consult a doctor or a dermatologist before committing to a product. The use of natural homemade remedies is a better substitute for chemical products.
- Apart from the usual signs of Aging like wrinkling, grey hairs, and diminished ability towards physical work, dark spots also become common. At old age, the skin becomes loose and doesn’t function as properly as it used to do when you were young. Due to this, the skin near the folds become darker.
- Dark skin is also a sign of an unbalanced diet. It can occur due to the loss of any vital nutrients in the food. To prevent it from happening and to heal it, a proper regime of a balanced diet should be followed. The body requires a diet that contains everything from fats, minerals, and vitamins to amino acids and antioxidants. Dairy products like milk and yoghurt should also be included in the diet.
- A dark neck can just be a continuation of acne and pimples you previously had. Improper treatment of acne and bursting it prematurely can lead to the skin getting dark. It is important that a pimple is treated carefully and left alone when it is their time to burst.
Myths and facts of Dark Neck
There is not much awareness present regarding dark neck and its causes. Despite this being a fairly common skin disorder, people still don’t know about it completely. It is important to clear out some myths about this skin condition which can happen to anyone.
- Only obese people suffer from dark necks – One of the main causes of dark skin is obesity but it doesn’t mean that only obese people suffer from this. Skin gets darker when it folds onto one another and starts rubbing in a harmful way. This can happen to anyone and at any part of the body but since there are more folds present in an obese person, they are likely to suffer more often.
- Touching spreads, the disease – Dark neck is not technically a disease. There are a lot of reasons for the skin around the neck getting darker including bad medicine, sun exposure, and improper diet. It just shows the deficiency of a nutrient or element in the body. It is not contagious as it is not caused due to a virus.
- Children are affected more – Children when going through puberty may experience several cases of skin getting darker. It is just because they are undergoing a lot of hormonal changes. Adults and even old people can be affected by this condition. Pregnant ladies are also more prone to these conditions because of the hormonal changes occurring in the body.
- Dark skin is permanent – Proper care and treatment can lighten the skin effectively. There are a lot of homemade remedies also which cure dark skin. Maintaining a proper diet reduces pigmentation too. An overweight person can lose weight and be able to tackle the symptoms more efficiently in the future.
OTC products for Dark Neck
Here are some Over the Counter Products for treating the dark neck.
- Lakme Perfect Radiance Intense Whitening Night Cream – Lakme has always been a brand known to be one of the best for skincare all over the world. The intense whitening night cream contains vitamin E and B3 which are helpful in improving skin tone and removing dark spots from the skin. Apply this cream before going to bed.
- VLCC Snighdha Skin lightening cream for Dark Neck – This is a cream specially made for lightening the neck. It contains compounds that are best suited for removing the pigmentation on the skin layer.
- Sattvik Organic Sun Ban Skin Whitening Cream – Sattvik Sun Ban Cream is totally organic. There are no side effects after applying this cream. This cream is useful in removing darkness due to suntan, excess accumulation of melanin, and eradicating oily skin. This skin whitening effect lasts for a long time and doesn’t need much washing.
- Biotique Bio Coconut Whitening & Brightening Cream – This product can be used by people of any skin type. The cream is made by using all ayurvedic elements like coconut water, almond oil, and nimble Kamla. This cream can be used twice a day.
- Garnier White Complete Speed White Cream – The speed white cream comes from the fact that the cream uses a special serum called speed white cream. It comes along with SPF 10 PA+++ which has the ability to clear the skin effectively in less time. Regular use of this cream can cure and lighten the skin tone in just a week.
- Olay White Radiance Advanced Whitening – This cream gives the best results when left overnight. It contains Vitamin B3, Vitamin C and Mulberry extract which works with your beauty sleep and revitalizes the skin. The cream fights the overproduction of melanin on the skin.
FAQs on Dark Neck
Dark Neck or Acanthosis Nigricans as it is clinically called is a type of skin disorder in which the skin gets darker and has a velvety texture. It is generally found in places where the skin folds like the neck, shoulders and groin region. It should be noted that this is not a disease but a condition relating to disease.
There are many causes for Dark Neck. Prolong exposure to Sun and excessive sun tanning can cause the neck to become darkened. Improper diet, obesity, hormonal changes, and in some cases it can be hereditary also. A big portion of Acanthosis Nigricans suffering patients got it from various drugs they were taking like Insulin.
Try to use sunscreen as much as possible when going out. Consult your doctor before using any cosmetic product or drugs like insulin. Maintain a proper diet consisting of all the essential vitamins and minerals. Obesity is a cause of this condition also, so losing weight might treat the darkness.
- How many forms of Dark Neck are present?
There are two forms of Dark Neck present that are differentiated on the basis of a cause. Benign is the form when skin gets dark because of obesity, genes and other endocrine-related forms. Malignant form occurs when a drug is used in a bad way. A tumour that can cause pigmentation or side effect of insulin.
A little bit of makeup to cover the dark skin is harmless as long as the makeup doesn’t stay for too long. The chemicals used in the makeup may cause itching and discomfort to the skin.
Tanning is done to get a brown glow on the skin. As safe as it looks on the outside, excessive tanning can be harmful to the skin. The UV rays projected from the sun are a cause of skin cancer and pigmentation. Use tanning beds if tanning has to be done.
- What Product should I use to be safe from Dark Neck?
Use sunscreen and sunblock more often. You can use a mild sunscreen with high SPF content and keep it applied on the skin all day. Moisturize your skin more often. It might not look like it but the sun can do damage to the skin in the winters also. Exfoliating the skin is very important. Without exfoliating, the dead cells and oil and other particles get accumulated at a place causing various skin conditions.