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Why does the neck darken

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

A change in the pigmentation of the skin on the neck is a medical condition that can occur from various causes. Various health problems such as hormonal and metabolic diseases and even tumors can be responsible. And generally, until these problems are resolved, it is difficult for the skin to return to its normal appearance.

If you continue reading this FastlyHealarticle, you will find everything you want to know about why the neck darkens and how to improve it.

What is acanthosis pigmentosa

Pigmentation of the skin is medically known as acanthosis nigricans or acanthosis pigmentosa. It is not only about the darkening of some areas of the skin, through spots, but also in those areas, there will be thickening and changes in the skin’s texture (it seems velvety).

Acanthosis pigments usually affect the neck and other areas such as the armpits or groin. These changes and spots on the skin appear slowly and can be accompanied by discomfort such as:

  • Burning on the skin.
  • Bad smell on the skin.

You can often notice how the folds in these areas darken first, and if the underlying disease continues, that coloration will progress to other sites. Different diseases are the cause of this problem.

Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance

One of the most common causes that answers why the neck darkens is Type 2 Diabetes, altering sugar metabolism. Unhealthy habits generally lead to obesity and insulin resistance. These are the bases for a series of disorders to occur in the body. Among these is the darkening of the skin.

There is a clear relationship between being overweight and acanthosis nigricans.


You can restore your skin to its normal appearance by cleansing your body and returning to proper health. If you persist with the intake of unhealthy foods and do not exercise, no matter how much you take medication, it is most likely that the spots will continue on your skin.

We recommend the reference article: Diet for type 2 diabetes.

Hormone problems

In these diseases, the body is affected by an abnormal circulation of hormones. Hormones are responsible for many critical processes in the body. If these are too low or too high, the whole organism will go into imbalance.

Certain hormonal disorders can manifest as a darkening in the neck in addition to their typical symptoms, and it is one of the main reasons why you wonder why your neck is darkening.

Such is the case of:

  • Ovarian cysts: usually present with alterations in the cycle, obesity, and too much hair.
  • Modifications in the adrenal glands: in that case, you may feel fatigued, have weight loss, gastrointestinal disturbances, and dizziness, among others.
  • Hypothyroidism: someone who has the problem of synthesizing less thyroid hormone than he needs may feel tired and excessively sleepy, have hair loss, and tend to gain weight, among others.


As we can see, these are problems that cover the entire body, and the darkening of the skin is just one more symptom. To improve it, undoubtedly, you must improve your health. It is essential to rethink your eating habits, exercise, and everything that can lead to an emotional imbalance.

You may be interested in this article by FastlyHeal: Ovarian cysts: symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Drugs that can darken the neck

Some medications have a high impact on metabolism and can cause the neck to darken and thicken. If you wonder why your neck is darkening and you are taking any of these drugs, this may be the reason:

  • Contraceptive pills.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Niacin.


If this is your case, it is convenient to go to the medical consultation and discuss your problem. There may be other treatment alternatives. But do not stop taking yourself a medication that a professional has indicated. Some drugs cannot be stopped suddenly, and others need replacement.

More information on the Side effects of birth control pills.


Some abnormal growths of internal tissues can manifest on the skin. In that case, the darkened, velvety, and thickened skin of the neck, groin, or armpits can be the alarm to look for this disease.

It can be a symptom of:


It is essential to consult a doctor if you wonder why your neck is darkening to rule out any tumors. If you have it, the skin will improve when the underlying problem improves.

Local treatments for darkening of the neck

As we have seen, the darkening of the skin is due to a more profound and critical health problem. Often the following measures are sufficient to improve both the skin and the underlying disease :

  • Lose weight.
  • Change eating habits.
  • Get regular exercise.

In some cases, local treatment can be tried, but you should know that often you do not get too many improvements. Something that is sought with antibiotic creams or medication for acne is less odor on the skin in that area, but they do not always succeed.

We recommend that if you are suffering from this problem, you try to get to the bottom of the matter and find out the answer to why the neck is darkened. Simple solutions can only partially improve the situation and, over time, will lead to a worsening of the underlying disease. It is essential to fix the root cause.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does the neck darken , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .

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