Acne is not exclusively reserved for the face. It can manifest in several areas of the body, including the neck. Neck acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes red bumps or pimples to form in the area around the neck. The cause is often the same as any other type of acne, which is the clogging of pores due to accumulated dead skin cells and oils. Although neck acne is common among teenagers, adults are not immune to this condition. This article aims to understand the causes, prevention, and effective treatment of neck acne, especially the condition known as ‘hidradenitis suppurativa.’

Identifying Neck Acne

Neck acne presents as raised red bumps that can sometimes contain pus. In severe cases, the bumps can be painful and may cause cosmetic discomfort. They occur when the skin’s oil glands overproduce sebum, the oily substance used to lubricate the skin. When mixed with dead skin cells, this abundant sebum clogs the skin pores resulting in acne. In some cases, a more severe form of acne can develop, known as hidradenitis suppurativa, which appears as painful lumps under the skin. These lumps are more common in areas where the skin rubs together, but they can also appear on the neck.

Causes and Prevention

Several factors can worsen neck acne, including hormonal changes, diet, stress, improper skincare, and genetics. Another culprit is friction, caused by tight collars, necklaces, scarves, or even the way you sleep. Avoiding these triggers may help reduce the occurrence of neck acne. A good skincare routine is also crucial in managing and preventing neck acne. This involves proper cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing. It’s key to choose products that are ‘non-comedogenic,’ meaning they won’t clog pores.

Treatment Options

Treatment for neck acne ranges from over-the-counter products to prescription medications, depending on the severity. Topical creams containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid often prove effective in mild to moderate cases, as they help unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

For severe cases, such as hidradenitis suppurativa, more aggressive treatment methods may be required. Hidradenitis suppurativa treatments often involve a combination of medications, including antibiotics, retinoids, and corticosteroids. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be considered to remove the inflamed skin area.


Living with neck acne can be frustrating, especially when it seems like there are no effective solutions. However, understanding the root cause and appropriate treatments can help reduce the severity and frequency of breakouts. With adequate information and a good skincare routine, managing and even preventing neck acne can be achieved. Regardless of the severity, it’s always advisable to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare provider about treatment options, including hidradenitis suppurativa treatments. They can help determine the best course of action based on your individual needs and the severity of the condition.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.