Why does skin pigmentation happen and what to do

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Are you wondering why your neck is turning so dark while the skin on your face is not? Read on to find out more from an expert.

Struggling to understand what’s behind your discoloured, dark, or black neck? If so, let us tell you that there can be many factors that can cause the condition. You should know that our skin is very sensitive, so whenever there is a change in the weather, diet, or skin care routine, the skin reacts accordingly. Therefore, if your skin around the neck is getting darker or black, it is because your body may be experiencing changes.

Dark patches or pigmentation around the neck is not a cause for poor hygiene only, nor is it something that can always be cured with home remedies. Actually, to get rid of this condition, you need to go to its root cause. And for that, you will need a dermatologist, who can explain well about dark neck and how to get rid of it.

Recently, popular dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad, shared an Instagram post to share the possible causes of dark neck. And guess what? She gives us some amazing solutions too! Come, let us find out!

Check out her post here:

So what are the various causes of dark neck?

Let us understand the potential reasons/causes why you have the dark neck, according to Dr Sharad:

1. Genetics

Dark skin around the neck can be due to a disorder called Acanthosis Nigricans. It is a condition characterized by an area of dark, velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin. And this condition can be hereditary (passed on to a child by their parents) or a part of a genetic syndrome.

2. Obesity

Obesity and endocrine disorder are common causes of darkening of the skin mostly on the neck and armpit.

Also, read: Are your lips getting darker? You may find the reasons here

3. Insulin resistance

A dark neck is a sign of having too much insulin in your blood. If you notice any symptoms, it is essential to test your blood sugar and promptly seek a diabetologist’s advice.

dark neck
It’s time to tame your insulin levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock


Women with PCOS have higher levels of the hormone, insulin, in their blood. Higher levels of insulin can sometimes cause patches of darkened skin on the back of the neck, under the arms, and in the groin area.

5. Diabetes

Dark patches on the skin in the back of the neck are often a sign of prediabetes.

Also, read: Worried‌ ‌about‌ ‌dark‌ ‌nipples?‌ ‌Here’s‌ ‌why‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌them‌ ‌

6. Hypothyroidism

Acanthosis Nigricans condition that causes dark patches is usually associated with medical conditions that you have such as thyroid or weight gain. And these conditions can lead to the darkening of your skin.

7. Allergies to perfumes or hair dyes

Yes, you can be allergic to some products so before applying any product you should always apply a new product to a small area or a test patch first and wait for 24 hours at least to ensure they’re not allergic to your skin.

8. Conditions like lichen planus pigmentosus

Lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP) is a chronic pigmentation disorder that shows diffuse or reticulated hyperpigmented, dark brown macules on the sun-exposed areas such as the face, neck, and other flexural folds.

Solutions to treat for dark neck

Well, to get rid of dark neck follow, these tips shared by Dr Sharad:

1. Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight

2. Maintain Body Mass Index ≤ 24. It is a healthy range indicating that based on your weight and height, you are not overweight or obese.

dark neck
Being underweight also comes with its set of health issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Keep the neck clean

4. Do not over-exfoliate

5. Get your hormones checked

6. Treat the underlying condition

7. Use lactic acid-based creams/lotions

8. Avoid spraying perfumes on the skin

9. Do not rub the skin

10. Do not forget your sunscreen

Follow these tips and you’ll see positive results soon.

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