Skin Care

Why Is Your Neck Breaking Out? 7 Possible Causes And 7 Effective Skincare Tips

Don’t let neck acne break your confidence. No more hiding under high-neck clothes. Recovering your clear skin is just one step away.

Written by Venu Agrawal

On Oct 30, 2023 – 10 minutes read

Neck Breaking Out

Acne is not exclusive to our necks. In truth, neck breakouts are just as prevalent as face, chest, and back acne. In most cases, blocked pores are to blame for neck acne. Therefore, neck-breaking out might occur due to a lack of proper neck washing routine, over-moisturization, or excessive amounts of suncream and cosmetics. Nonetheless, there are various treatments available for dealing with neck acne. However, it can be challenging.

So please stick with me to the end to learn more about what causes neck acne, how to treat it with home remedies, how to avoid it in the first place, and much more.

Understanding Neck Acne

You might ask, what’s up with my neck breaking out suddenly? Regardless of its cause, acne can manifest anywhere hair follicles are present. This includes the face, neck, shoulders, chest, and back. We refer to neck breakouts as pimples that occur at the back and front of your neck and the jawline.

Why Is Your Neck Breaking Out

Neck pimples develop for the same reasons as face acne:

  • Clogged pores from an excess of sebum
  • The presence of bacteria
  • The buildup of dead skin cells

Another cause of neck pimples in women may be due to Hormonal fluctuations. However, garment friction and sweat are also potential causes of acne on the neck. And just like there are varying degrees and treatments for facial acne, the same applies to neck acne.

Now, let’s look at the types of neck breakouts that may occur on your neck:

  1. Blackheads: These comedones have opened on the skin’s surface but do not cause inflammation.
  2. Whiteheads: These are plugged follicles and don’t cause inflammation, referred to as closed comedones.
  3. Papules: They tend to form groups, which come to mind when most people think of the word “pimple.” Papules are non-cancerous lumps that typically appear in shades of pink or red. They can be just as painful as pustules.
  4. Pustules: These are lumps of red skin packed with pus of various colors. They’re uncomfortable and painful.
  5. Cystic acne: It is an extreme form of acne inflammation. These painful lesions are filled with pus and mostly lead to scarring.
  6. Nodules: They primarily develop beneath the skin’s surface and form lumps. Having to go through them is difficult as they are hard and painful.

Why is the front of my neck breaking out? The following section is for you.

What Causes Neck Breaking Out?

Neck acne is just as frequent as facial acne. Overactive oil glands due to heredity or hormones, combined with inflammation, are a common cause. In addition, clogged pores and inflammation might result from skincare products that aren’t suited to your skin type. Stress can cause breakouts in the neck just like it might elsewhere. Other causes of pimples on the neck include but are not limited to comedogenic haircare products, sweating friction from clothing or accessories, and poor shaving technique. 

But are there complications that may occur due to neck breaking out? Let’s find out in the next paragraph.

Potential Complications Of Neck Break Outs

Potential Complications Of Neck Breaking Out

Scarring from acne is a potentially complication side effect of having acne. Scarring can result from the rupture of any acne lesion, although the most severe lesions (nodules and cysts) are the most likely to do so. It’s also vital not to pluck or squeeze your neck acne breakouts because doing so might leave scars.

It’s always better to prevent than cure; here are the best ways to avoid neck acne.

Prevention Tips: Skincare Tips For Neck Breakouts

How do you get rid of neck acne overnight? The best thing is that you can prevent neck pimples before they occur. To lessen the likelihood of acquiring zits on their neck, do the following:

Skincare Tips For Neck Breakouts
  1. Cleaning your neck well after a sweaty workout is recommended.
  2. Regularly bathe your neck in lukewarm water with fragrance-free and hypoallergenic soap. 
  3. Wear clean garments and replace them when sweaty.
  4. Clean your makeup brushes regularly with an antibacterial cleanser. 
  5. Sheets should be washed weekly, and heavier bedding like blankets and pillows should be cleaned monthly (or biweekly if the weather is mild).
  6. Wash sporting gear that presses on or comes into regular contact with the neck frequently.
  7. The use of oil-free, comedogen-free (pore-unclogging) skin care products on the neck.
  8. Wear cotton garments to avoid skin irritation around the neck.
  9. Select and use cosmetics that don’t contain any synthetic fragrances that may irritate your neck.
  10. Wear neck jewelry free of potentially irritating materials, such as false metals, plastics, and plant-based substances.
  11. Always ensure that backpack or purse straps are adjusted and do not irritate or cause friction to the neck.

Now, consider some life adjustments you can make to prevent neck pimples.

Hygiene And Lifestyle Adjustments To Avoid Your Neck From Breaking Out

Do you know that there are preventative measures you may take to lessen the likelihood of your neck breaking out? Acne sufferers may relieve their condition by adopting a healthier lifestyle and establishing an effective skincare routine or hygiene.

  • Proper hygiene is the first step. Acne can be treated by using a light scrape to remove dead skin cells and thoroughly hydrating your neck twice daily.
  • Wearing lightweight, flowy garments that allow the body to breathe is recommended. Tight clothing brushing against the skin increases sweating, which is the root cause of acne mechanica.
  • Modifying your diet can also help in reducing the occurrence of neck breakouts. Such as avoiding high-glycemic foods like sugar, white bread, and pasta may help reduce acne.
  • Finally, avoiding stressors in your life may have a beneficial effect against acne.

Apart from sweating and clogged pores, do you know that irritations and allergic reactions can cause pimples on your neck? Read on.

Allergic Reaction And Irritations That Cause Neck Breaking Out

The first thing to do while treating acne is to identify its underlying cause. Neck acne causes may include:

Allergic Reaction And Irritations That Cause Neck Breaking Out
  • Friction: Acne on the neck is often caused by friction from nearby clothing or jewelry. Synthetic, non-breathable textiles (polyester and neoprene) are particularly prone to causing neck acne because they trap oil and bacteria. Skin irritation and acne can be caused by the friction caused by tight clothing and accessories (including the strap of your bike helmet).
  • Allergic reactions: A lot of individuals also think that the way they shave is to blame for their acne, but it could be the shaving cream they use. Many components of shaving creams can clog your pores or make your skin red and itchy. Shaving can also cause ingrown hairs and razor pimples, which may look like acne but aren’t the same thing. So, If your neck reacts badly to moisturizers or other cosmetics, stop using them.

The Role Of Diet And Nutrition In Reducing Neck Breaks Outs

It can be challenging to determine which foods to try and which to avoid due to the lack of information regarding the effects of the diet on acne. A food diary can help determine which foods contribute to or exacerbate acne. Keep a food diary and track the acne symptoms(1) and how severe they are each day.

Do this for a few weeks or longer, and then take the diary with you when you visit your doctor or dermatologist. The doctor can use the food diary to help pinpoint when outbreaks occurred and share tips on how to improve your nutrition to eradicate acne.

The Role Of Diet And Nutrition In Reducing Neck Breaks Outs

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation and improve acne symptoms; here are the foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Pastured eggs
  • Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds
  • Soybeans and soy products, such as tofu
  • Navy beans
  • Spinach and kale
  • Wild rice
  • Mustard seeds
  • Flaxseeds

Now, let’s look at the treatment methods and home remedies used to cure neck breakouts.

Treatment And Home Remedies For Neck Acne

Despite the neck’s thinner skin, acne here responds to the same treatments as elsewhere on the face. Examples of such methods are:

Hormonal Therapies:

Acne can be effectively treated with oral contraceptives if you suspect that your hormone levels are fluctuating. The synthetic type of progesterone included in the pill and estrogen reduces the impact of androgens on the skin and reduces oil production. There is solid proof that acne can be improved by using a contraceptive pill(2).


Body Exfoliation

The first step in combating neck acne is to clear away acne-causing bacteria and unclog your pores, by a body exfoliation with a gentle, chemical exfoliator containing substances like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. This mild exfoliant contains both beta-hydroxy acid and poly-hydroxy acid, which work together to dissolve dead skin cells, loosen clogged oils and debris, eliminate bacteria, and lessen the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads.

Prescription And Non-prescription Therapies:

Although several over-the-counter acne treatments are available, not all of them will work for acne on the neck. A good dermatologist, however, will offer you a range of clinical-grade treatment choices that can be modified to meet your unique skin’s demands.

Now, let’s focus on some home remedies:

Have you been wondering how to get rid of neck acne overnight? Acne is treatable at home with the right ingredients. Frequent outbreaks require medical attention, but occasional ones can be handled on your own unless you have chronic acne. Normal neck pimples may clear up in a matter of days if you treat them promptly at home. Here are some home remedies for neck breakouts:

Prescription And Non-prescription Therapies for Neck Acne
  • Olive Oil: Avocado oil is a topical treatment for enhancing skin health and protecting against damaging free radicals since it is rich in linoleic acid, oleic acid, and numerous vitamins. It’s a great choice for giving your skin a much-needed pick-me-up.
  • Micronized oats: The antioxidants in ground oat kernel can help with dry, irritated skin. You may find a wide selection of colloidal oatmeal remedies at your local medicine shop.
  • Ice: Acne that appears on the back of the neck can be treated quickly and painlessly with ice. Swelling and inflammation can be decreased by using ice.
  • Aloe: Aloe, most famous for its use in treating sunburns, also relieves itching, dryness, and inflammation.
  • Quinoa: In terms of natural exfoliants, quinoa is among the best. To unclog pores and refresh the skin around the neck, try using a mild scrub made with cooked quinoa.
  • Body wash: Using a body wash made especially for acne can help clean and treat acne on the neck, chest, and other acne-prone parts of the body.

Home acne treatments that focus on improving food, stress management, and hygiene products have the potential to be successful because these factors have all been linked to the development of acne. However, if you have been wondering how to stop hormonal acne on the neck? It’s best to see your doctor.

Should you pop a pimple? Read on!

Why Should You Not Pop A Pimple?

Popping a pimple risks infecting the blemish with germs and other microbes from the hands.

Forcibly popping a pimple can spread the germs inside it to neighboring and deeper tissues, resulting in scarier lesions like papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Severe scarring from acne, pitting, and dark patches are lifelong skin issues and distress.

In case all the home remedies to curb neck breaking out did not work, here’s what to do.

When To See a Doctor Due To Neck Breaking Out?

When acne on the neck becomes severe, persists for more than a few weeks, or does not clear up after initial therapy, the affected individual should consult a medical professional.


1. Can Moisturizer Cause Neck Acne?

Over-moisturizing can harm your skin since it causes your pores to become blocked.

2. Why Am I Having Breakouts On My Neck?

Hair products that are comedogenic, friction from clothing or accessories, high sweat, and shaving are all potential causes.

3. Can Milk Cause Neck Acne?

Low-glycemic foods, like cow’s milk (but not milkshakes), can aggravate acne.

4. How Do I Get Rid Of Acne Scars On My Neck?

Mild to moderate acne scars may be treated with laser therapy, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels.


Neck breaking out is as common as any other form of acne in the body. Nevertheless, neck acne is easily aggravated by friction, sweat, and hair products. Therefore, wearing clean cotton clothes around the neck is advisable to avoid friction. Taking a bath with lukewarm water every time after a workout is advisable to reduce the chances of clogged pores and bacterial formation that cause neck pimples. However, you can cure neck acne through the use of medications, exfoliation, and also the use of easy home remedies such as the use of olive oil. Finally, remember not to pop a pimple, as it can cause scarring.

  1. National Institute Of Health. (n.d). Acne. [Online] Available at:
  2. Journal Of The American Academy Of Dermatology. (2023).Eligibility criteria related to hormone therapy in acne clinical trials. [online] Available At:

Subscribe to Newsletter

Elevate your routine, stay on trend, and embrace a personalized beauty journey with our curated insights.

Venu agarwal

Venu is a Women’s Health & Lifestyle Specialist who has worked with women from all walks of life, offering women the most current and evidence-based guidance.

Reviewer name

Reviewer bio

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *