Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Red Bumps on the Back of the Neck

Red Bumps on the Back of the Neck Red Bumps on the Back of the Neck

Overview

Red bumps on the back of your neck or the lower part of your scalp may indicate a skin infection around in the hair follicles in that area. These bumps may be red or filled with pus. As an infection progresses, the bumps may produce scars that coalesce into larger scars. Widespread scarring may be associated with hair loss in the affected area.

Causes

Red bumps on the back of your neck may be caused by a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. The Staphylococcus aureus bacteria is a common cause of folliculitis, an infection that may look like red bed bumps on the back of your neck. Folliculitis may occur when hair follicles on your skin get damaged by friction such as shaving or tight clothing. Excessive sweating and other inflammatory skin conditions such as acne may also cause folliculitis.

Folliculitis

Damaged hair follicles on the back of your neck are susceptible to infections such as folliculitis. Folliculitis on the back of your neck is also known as acne keloidalis muchae, or AKN. Variations of folliculitis are known as "hot tub folliculitis" and "barber's itch." The bumps may look like small pimples around one ore more of the hair follicles on the back of your neck. These red bumps may itch or become painful. Superficial folliculitis may subside without treatment. The Mayo Clinic suggests that deep or recurring infections such as folliculitis may require medical treatment.

Treatment

Your doctor may prescribe topical creams and ointments such as retinoids, steroids and antibiotics to treat AKN. Severe or advanced cases of AKN may benefit from oral prednisone treatment and antibiotic pills. Steroid injections may help reduce inflammation around bumps and scars. A health care provider may recommend removing individual bumps or scars with surgery, laser or nitrogen treatments.

Scaring

AKN can result in large scars on the back of your neck without treatment. These scars are known as keloids. Keloids are the excess growth of scar tissue around skin that heals where red bumps appeared on your neck. Keloids may be flesh colored, red or pink and form lumpy ridges or nodules in your skin.

Risk Factors

Red bumps on the back of your neck that are caused by AKN are more common in young adult men of African decent. AKN occurs less in young men of Asian and Latino decent, but these groups may be more at risk for developing the condition than white men. AKN is uncommon in women rarely occurs before puberty or after middle age.

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