Acne on the Neck
Acne is a condition in which the sebaceous glands clog, leaving you with unsightly bumps on the face, neck, chest or back. Acne on the neck includes whiteheads and blackheads. The main cause is the backup of oil in the pores where hair follicles grow. The clogged area is conducive for bacteria growth, which leads to pus buildup. The condition can be controlled through proper skin care, over-the-counter products or with prescription medications.
The main gland that is linked to acne development is the sebaceous gland. This gland produces oil, which surrounds the hair protein as it grows from the follicle. Since the human body has hair on all parts of the body, sebaceous glands can get clogged on all areas of the skin, including the neck. The oil buildup can be exacerbated by the hairline, tight collars, poor skin care or a bacterial infection.
There are two types of acne that affect the neck: whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are closed pores that are clogged and produce a white pimple. The clogged area can be on the surface or deeper in the skin. Blackheads are open pores that are also clogged, except the black area is caused by oils coming into contact with air. The oil oxidizes and turns black. In both cases, bacteria can grow and worsen the area. Picking or popping the pimple leaves a red, irritated area that can scar.
The hairline sometimes produces more oil than the neck, so one way to prevent neck acne is to wash your hair regularly, paying particular attention to the hairline. If you have long hair, wear it up to avoid your hair touching your neck. Avoid clothing that rubs up against the neck like collared shirts, turtlenecks or scarves. This can cause more oil production from the skin. Wash your face and neck at least twice a day to remove excess oil and bacteria.
For mild neck acne, topical creams purchased over the counter will dry up and kill the bacteria. These creams and gels contain small amounts of benzoyl peroxide. Prescription medications from dermatologists contain higher concentrations of benzoyl peroxide. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics, if the bacteria are excessive. Other medications, such as retinols (Retin-A) and tazarotene (Tazorac), are prescribed to treat severe acne conditions.
Some people believe that diet can cause acne. However, food has not been medically connected with the development of acne. Even chocolate does not cause acne. However, some food allergies can cause the breakout of acne conditions. If you find some foods cause breakouts, avoid those foods to reduce the chance of allergy conditions that cause acne.
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