Black neck: Symptoms and treatment

Gytree Team
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Black neck: Symptoms and treatment

Verified by Dr. Vaishali Sakpal Rane (MBBS, DGO Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Black neck or dark neck is described as a condition where the skin on your neck becomes noticeably darker than the surrounding skin. The skin on the neck is commonly more prone to darkening, due to hormones, exposure to sun, certain skin conditions or hormonal changes. Along with the darkening of the skin you may also notice changes like thickening of the skin.

The colour change may make you become conscious about your appearance, however, most cases black necks aren’t medical emergencies. In some cases, however, the black neck may be a warning sign of something serious, so it’s always better to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and further necessary treatment. 

Possible causes of a black neck can be:


Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a medical condition which can cause dark, thick skin on the neck, armpits, groins and other skin folds. The affected skin area might have a velvety texture. 

The most common cause of acanthosis nigricans is being overweight. People who are obese and those suffering from diabetes are at a great risk getting this condition.

Other causes can include:

Black neck: Symptoms and treatment

Dermatitis neglecta

Dermatitis neglecta is a skin condition in which there is an accumulation of oil, sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria on the skin. This accumulation causes discoloration and plaque formation on the skin.

Dyskeratosis congenita

Dyskeratosis congenita is also known as Zinsser-Engman-Cole syndrome, which causes hyperpigmentation of the skin of the neck.

Drug-induced Hyperpigmentation 

Hyperpigmentation of the skin can happen as a result of some drugs, like including NSAID, phenytoin, antimalarials, amiodarone, antipsychotic drugs and tetracyclines or contraceptives. Drug induced blackening can appear anywhere on the body, including the neck and colours can range from dark brown to blue-black. This is usually resolved once you stop taking the drugs. 


Treatment for black neck

The most effective treatment for black neck is done through treating the underlying condition. In cases of drug-induced hyperpigmentation, the blackness of the neck is resolved slowly once the medication is stopped. In case of Acanthosis nigricans weight loss can help in treating insulin resistance, and thus black neck.

Other treatment options for black neck may include:

  • Exfoliation
  • prescription medications including salicylic acid, Retin-A
  • Chemical peeling 
  • Laser treatments

Although black neck is usually not serious, it’s always better to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Black neck