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Comedones, one of the main symptoms associated with acne, form when dirt, debris and oil clog hair follicles, resulting in a buildup of sebum and oil within the follicle. Comedones can be either open or closed. When skin closes the surface of the comedone, the blemish is called a whitehead or pimple. Blackheads -- open comedones -- may appear on your neck 2.
Blackheads look like small, black dots in the follicle pores of the skin 2. If you look closely, you can see the dark plug, or blockage, within the pore that lends blackheads their black color 2. Blackheads commonly appear on the face, neck, chest and shoulders 2.
Blackheads on the neck are a symptom of acne 2. Acne has three major causes including overproduction of skin oil, irregular shedding of dead skin cells and bacteria. Sebaceous glands, located within each hair follicle, produce oil to lubricate the skin. Blemishes form when dead skin cells trap the oil within follicles, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, cysts and nodules 2. Bacteria, some medications and genetics may cause increased oil production in the skin.
Some people are more prone to developing acne and blackheads on their neck than others are 2. Risk factors include:
- the use of certain medications
- exposure to oily cosmetics
- genetic predisposition
Teenagers are more likely to develop acne than adults. In addition, people who wear helmets, tight collars or frequently carry packs with shoulder straps may develop acne on the neck because of the friction these items create against the skin.
Blackheads on the Chest
Avoid popping, squeezing and picking at blackheads, as this can cause infection or push the blockage deeper in the skin if not done properly 2. To treat or clear up blackheads, adopt a good skin-care routine that includes daily cleansing with oil-free products 2. Talk to your doctor about prescription treatments such as retinoid cream. You may also wish to try skin peels, masks or blackhead strips that claim to pull blackheads out of the skin without harming the skin 2.
To prevent blackheads on your neck, maintain a consistent skin-care routine 2. Avoid placing heavy makeup, moisturizers and lotions on your neck. Wear clothing with a loose neckline and avoid wearing jewelry that rubs against the skin. Shower immediately after strenuous or sweaty activities to remove dirt from your pores.
- To prevent blackheads on your neck, maintain a consistent skin-care routine 2.
- Shower immediately after strenuous or sweaty activities to remove dirt from your pores.
Blackheads on the Chest
Oil Bumps on the Face
What Causes Blackheads on My Back?
Why Is Lifting Weights Causing Acne?
Clogged Pores on Nose & Chin
How to Get Rid of Pimples on Your Neck
Acne & Freckles
Difference Between Blackheads & Sebaceous Filaments
How to Get Rid of Whiteheads on Your Nose
- University of Michigan Medical School: Seven Skin Conditions
- Medline Plus: Blackheads
- Cunliffe, WJ. Acne. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis; 1999.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. Acne: overview. Updated 2019.
- Freshwater, D, Masiln-Prothero, S. Blackwell's Nursing Dictionary. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley; 2013.
- InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Acne: Do lotions, tablets or light-based treatment help? 2013 Jan 13.
- Stearn, M. The Must-Have Health Guide. Basel, Switzerland; Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers; 2005.
- Plewig, G, Melnik, B, Chen, W. Plewig and Kligman's Acne and Rosacea. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing; 2019.
- Kosmadaki M, Katsambas A. Topical Treatments for Acne. Clinics in Dermatology. 2017 Mar - Apr;35(2):173-178.
- Saurat JH. Strategic Targets in Acne: The Comedone Switch in Question. Dermatology. 2015;231(2):105-11.
- Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, et al. Guidelines of Care for the Management of Acne Vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2016 May;74(5):945-73.
Kathy Mayse began her writing career as a reporter for "The Jackson-County Times Journal" in 2001. She was promoted to assistant editor shortly after. Since 2005, she has been busy as a successful freelancer specializing in Web content. Mayse is a licensed cosmetologist with more than 17 years of salon experience; most of her writing projects reflect this experience.