4 Simple Ways To Get Rid of Pimples on Neck

pimples on neck

Many people who develop acne pimples on the face also get them on the neck. While spots and whiteheads on the face get the most attention, those on the neck regularly get overlooked. The reason is that the neck, often concealed by hair, clothing, or jewelry, does not receive as much attention as the face. However, it is still open to pores clogging, bacterial proliferation, and other problems that lead to pimples.

Pimples on the neck are usually in the form of swollen, small, and hard lumps. They can be as frustrating and uncomfortable there as on the face or other visible body areas. But is that a reason to panic?

Fortunately, the answer is NO.

You can significantly reduce or even eliminate neck pimples with some simple yet effective measures that we will discuss in this blog post.

But first, let’s begin with why you might get pimples on your neck.

Causes of Pimples on the Neck (Neck Acne)

Various factors can contribute to the development of those pesky acne pimples on the neck. The most common are as follows

Hormonal Fluctuations or Imbalances

Neck pimples can be a result of hormonal acne, which can affect individuals at various life stages. They may occur during puberty, menstruation or menopause, pregnancy, or due to any other internal or external factor that triggers hormonal changes.

Neck acne can also be linked to conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), where hormonal imbalances, including elevated androgen levels, can stimulate excess oil production, contributing to acne. Women with this condition usually experience acne flare-ups around menstrual periods. These flare-ups generally occur on the upper neck, chin, or jawline.

Hormonal acne, in general, may cause pimples on the neck, jawline, lower face, chest, and back. Some of these pimples may develop into cystic acne, the most severe and painful form of acne.

Poor Hygiene

A good wash every night will go a long way in preventing pimples on your neck. The neck skin is usually thinner and drier than facial skin and is more prone to accumulating dead cells, dust, bacteria, and other impurities. Not regularly cleansing the neck can result in clogged pores from these contaminants, heightening the risk of acne and pimples.


While more research is needed to establish a profound link between neck pimples and stress, many existing studies suggest that stress may contribute to the prevalence of acne. When stressed, your body releases cortisol, among other hormones, which can influence acne development. This hormone may trigger excess sebum (skin’s natural oil) production, which contributes to pores clogging and causing acne breakouts.

Another way stress increases the risk of acne is that it distracts you from your hygiene routine.

Skin Care and Makeup Products

Skincare products can offer additional support to your skin health. However, the same products do more harm than good if you forget about cleaning your skin at the end of the day. While high-quality sunscreen protects the neck from UV rays, failing to wash it off before bedtime can clog pores and hair follicles, increasing acne risk.

Furthermore, many skincare and makeup products are comedogenic in nature. The term ‘comedogenic’ refers to the ability of something to clog pores. Hence, if these products are not washed off before bed or after a day of wear, they may cause skin oil and bacteria to be trapped inside the pores and hair follicles, increasing the risk of pimples.

Clothing that Rubs Your Skin

When rubbed by clothes or jewelry, like necklaces, your neck skin may endure significant friction. This friction and resultant irritation can lead to a type of acne known as acne mechanica.

Types of Neck Acne or Pimples

Neck pimples can occur in many forms, each of which may require specific or even personalized treatment. Therefore, identifying the type of neck acne is vital to determining the treatment you must get.

In general, there are four major types of acne pimples that can erupt on your neck skin.

  • Pustules: These pimples or bumps are usually red and tender and may be filled with pus.
  • Papules: Characterized by small, raised bumps that may appear in clusters resembling a rash, papules are commonly found on the neck and hairline. Unlike pustules, they do not contain pus. Papules usually occur due to irritation caused by hair products.
  • Nodules: Hard, painful lumps that develop deep under the skin, nodules represent a more severe form of acne. Due to their depth and severity, they often require professional medical treatment, as OTC remedies are usually ineffective.
  • Cystic acne: This severe form of acne develops deep within the skin, causing large, inflamed cysts that are painful. For this reason, it is the most severe and painful acne among other types. Cystic acne can have multiple causes, including hormonal imbalances during pregnancy and menstruation, as well as genetic factors.

Best Ways to Get Rid Of Pimples on the Neck

There is a wide array of pimple treatments to choose from, depending on the type and severity of acne pimples you have on the neck. Generally, mild acne pimples can be treated using over-the-counter products and medications. On the other hand, moderate to severe acne will likely need a combination of vigilant skin care at home and specialized treatment prescribed or performed by the dermatologist.

Over-The-Counter Products

Several OTC products primarily help treat mild acne. OTC acne products often contain ingredients similar to prescription medications, albeit in lower concentrations.

OTC products are generally available as toners, creams, washes, and gels, with about 0.025% to 10% of their contents consisting of the following ingredients

  • Benzoyl peroxide: an antibacterial agent that also reduces the amount of sebum in the pores
  • Salicylic acid: an anti-inflammatory agent with exfoliating properties
  • Alpha hydroxy acids: Ingredients like lactic acid and glycolic acid that help exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and preventing pore clogging.
  • Sulfur: A component with antibacterial properties that helps reduce acne by breaking down dead skin cells and decreasing inflammation.
  • Topical Retinoids: Highly effective in treating mild to moderate acne, these vitamin A derivatives help promote cell turnover and prevent the clogging of pores.
  • Niacinamide: known for its anti-inflammatory properties

Oral Medications

If you have acne pimples due to fluctuating hormonal levels, you may consider using oral contraceptive pills. Oral contraceptive pills, containing estrogen and progestin, can help regulate hormonal imbalances. Progestin, in particular, helps lower the impact of androgens on the skin, reducing sebum production. While evidence suggests that any contraceptive pill can help manage acne, speaking to your doctor is imperative before taking one.

Other popular oral medications for acne pimples include the following

  • Spironolactone: This drug curtails excess androgen activity in the body, reducing the risk of acne breakouts.
  • Isotretinoin: It is a more potent medicine that helps treat severe nodulocystic acne by reducing the amount of oil produced by sebaceous glands.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatments can target acne by reducing inflammation and reducing sebum production. When directed at the affected skin area, these lasers induce a photothermal or phototoxic effect, which helps reduce the ability of sebaceous glands to produce oil. The lasers may also create a bactericidal effect, making the skin environment uninhabitable for P. acnes, the bacteria strain known to increase acne risk. The laser most commonly used for treating acne pimples on the neck is ND: YAG.


According to research, supplements with adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats may reduce acne severity. The following supplements may help treat acne or reduce the risk of breakouts.

  • Vitamin D supplements: Vitamin D supplements may be beneficial for some individuals with acne, as studies suggest a potential link between low vitamin D levels and increased acne risk, though more research is needed.
  • Green tea: This healthy food is loaded with anti-inflammatory agents, some of which may help reduce the severity of your acne or acne risk.
  • Fish oil: Containing Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil may help reduce inflammation associated with acne for some individuals. However, its effects can vary, and it’s important to consult a healthcare provider before starting supplementation.
  • B Vitamins: Vitamin B supplementation may benefit people with acne, as reported by some studies. However, high doses of vitamin B12 have been found to trigger or worsen acne in some individuals.
  • Zinc: Recognized for its potential to reduce acne severity due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. While zinc supplements can support skin health.

How to Prevent Pimples on the Neck?

As with any other skin condition, acne pimples on the neck or other body areas are easy to prevent. Here are ways to reduce the risk of these pesky spots and keep your skin fresh and flawless.

  • Select body and hair care products compatible with your skin type to prevent irritation and acne.
  • Avoid picking at your pimples to prevent the risk of scarring and further infection.
  • Cleanse your skin thoroughly every day, paying extra attention to hygiene post-exercise to remove sweat and bacteria.
  • Regularly shampoo your hair to remove oil and contaminants that can contribute to neck and scalp acne.
  • Gently cleanse your neck instead of scrubbing to avoid irritating the skin, which can exacerbate acne.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and avoid accessories that rub against your neck to prevent friction that can lead to acne mechanica.

Is It Safe To Pop A Pimple On Your Neck?

You may be inclined to pop a pimple on your neck due to temptation or because you think it could help you eliminate the spot. However, popping pimples is strongly discouraged due to the high risk of scarring and potential for worsening the infection.

Wrapping Up

Pimples on the neck, much like those on the face, can be bothersome. Beyond the discomfort, neck pimples can also impact one’s self-esteem and aesthetics. While makeup can temporarily conceal blemishes, focusing on long-term skincare and treatment strategies is essential for lasting results. A combination of effective skincare practices and appropriate medical treatment is essential for maintaining healthy skin and managing acne. By following the above treatment and prevention strategies, you can actively manage and reduce the occurrence of neck acne.