3 minute read

What To Do About Pimples On Your Neck

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr Ai Nhi Bui

Acne affects us at all ages, from adolescence to well into adulthood. It can appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly on your face, chest, shoulders and back. But sometimes you might notice pimples on your neck. Neck acne is often overlooked, but it’s actually quite common. If you get acne on your face, you can also get it on your neck. Here’s what causes pimples on your neck, the different types you might get and what to do about it.

What causes pimples on your neck?

Pimples, regardless of where they appear on your body, are caused by clogged pores. Your pores get blocked with a buildup of dead skin cells, excess sebum (oil), debris and bacteria. The reason why you might notice pimples on your neck is also because of blocked pores and there are a variety of factors that could contribute to this, including:

  • Not washing your neck regularly, especially after sweating or working out
  • Using new or heavy products like moisturisers, makeup, sunscreen or even hair products
  • Using products with artificial scents or non-natural additives
  • Wearing clothing that rubbed against your neck
  • Having long hair that rubs against your neck, causing pimples on the back of your neck
  • Fluctuating hormones, especially during menstruation 
  • Taking certain medications

When we adopt skincare routines and try out different facial products, we often forget about our necks. We diligently wash our faces and use a variety of products in our skincare routines from cleansers to toners, moisturisers to sunscreens. But the neck can get overlooked and, in turn, lead to pimples. Don’t forget to take care of your neck the same way you take care of your face. 

Types of neck acne

Just like acne anywhere else on your body, neck acne can range in severity. Different types of pimples on the neck include:

  • Papules - hard, clogged pores that are red and tender and caused by a buildup of oil, skin cells and bacteria inside hair follicles
  • Pustules - papules that have a white tip in the centre due to a buildup of pus, caused by bacteria
  • Nodules - large, hard lumps that develop deeper under the skin than papules and pustules. They can be painful but don’t usually contain pus.
  • Cystic acne - cysts are a severe type of acne that are painful, inflamed and pus-filled, appearing when pores are clogged by a combination of bacteria, oil and dead skin further below the surface 

You might experience a spot here and there or blemishes across larger sections of your skin. Women might also get pimples on their necks around the time of their periods due to fluctuations in hormone levels

How to get rid of pimples on your neck

Depending on when you’re developing pimples on your neck, how often and how long they last for, there are a few different acne treatment plans you might try out. Over-the-counter washes and cleansers with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are good options to try if you find that you’re only breaking out on your neck every so often and it seems fairly mild. However, if you have persistent acne on your neck and these over-the-counter options aren’t working, you can try prescription acne treatments

Popular prescription acne treatments come in topical creams and lotions or oral tablets. The oral tablets are often antibiotics prescribed specifically to fight the bacteria that causes whiteheads and blackheads to become red, inflamed and possibly infected. 

Topical cream and lotions can be retinoids, antibiotics or azelaic acid.  Retinoids like tretinoin and adapalene are particularly popular because they increase your skin cell turnover rate, shedding dead skin cells and revealing the fresher, younger skin beneath. Topical antibiotics like clindamycin are also commonly prescribed as a way to combat acne-causing bacteria. Azelaic acid has antibacterial properties and is a naturally occurring acid in certain yeasts, working to help exfoliate the skin and fight acne. 

Acne treatment online with Rosemary Health

If over-the-counter options aren’t helping get rid of pimples on your neck, you can get clinically proven prescription acne treatments online through Rosemary. We have three types of acne treatment plans to help you sort out your acne once and for all. Start your online visit today.


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