Neck Pimples: Meaning, Causes, Treatments and Remedies


Why am I getting pimples on my neck or what causes them? Pimples in this area have many causes and they can be painless or painful, big or small, cystic or just normal zits. Get insight on meaning, causes of this form of acne that can be on the neck side, front or back as well as along the jawline. We will also see ways to get rid of these zits. 


These are breakouts on the neck, which are similar in appearance to those on the face and hence they can be used to reveal underlying health problems. Did you know that pimple mapping on the body can also indicate to you why they appear, whether they are the chin,  face, back, chest, or even groin?.

According to, pimple on your neck may mean something to do with any the causes we will discuss. It further suggests that you need to have your, “hormones checked for imbalances, especially if neck pimples are near or under the chin and jawline”.

Who gets them and where?

They can affect both male and female of any age but they are common in those undergoing hormonal changes like teens (during puberty), pregnant women and during periods for some women.

On appearance, they can be white or red in color depending if they are infected or not. In addition, you can have one, clustered, many spread over your front, side or back side of your neck.

It is possible to have them on the hairline at the back of your head, along jawlines among other places.


There are many reasons why you get them. Some of the common causes include the following:

  1. Hormones issues during puberty and pregnancy: Androgens hormones rise when both boys and girls approach or reach puberty and it stimulates the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produces more sebum which clogs the skin pores hence the appearance of breakouts. Hormonal imbalances related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives can affect sebum production. Finally, low amounts of androgens circulating in the blood of women can also worsen breakouts.
  2. Stress: According to a Stanford University study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that college students had acne flare-ups during exams, a period in which they reported more stress, compared to periods without testing. Acne severity correlated highly with increasing stress, the researchers concluded.
  3. Shaving:  A wrong choice of shaving cosmetics or tools or aftershave can lead to ingrown hairs that are itchy pimple-like bumps, especially on the front side. Sometimes such pimples can be caused by using dirty equipment or shaving without having washed hands.
  4. Cosmetics and makeup use: Cosmetics or makeup can worsen zits on the neck, especially if you use oil makeup that does clog pores and even staying longer with makeup.  Mayo Clinic has more insight on the how cosmetic makeup can worsen breakouts. The hair care products or cosmetics, detergents for washing your clothes as well as body care products can be triggering your neck pimples.
  5. Diet: According to research, certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods can trigger acne. Further study is needed to examine why this happens or whether individuals with serious or cystic like pimples on neck need to follow specific dietary restrictions.
  6. Dead skin cells:  hen a buildup of dead skin overstays in the pores then mixes with sebum, a sticky liquid-like substance form and clogs the opening of the pore. Bacteria found in the follicles are added and the combination leads to a pimple. “Gently exfoliating every few days will help remove those dead skin cells,” says Dr. Henry Gasiorowski. “Doing it too vigorously only pushes the bacteria deep into the skin, creating breakouts and infections.

Characteristics and locations

1. Pimples on back of neck 

Breakouts on this part might be due to using some lotions, shampoos, conditioners and hair products that can cause problems on the skin by clogging the pores.

Pimples on back of neck hairline are often induced by the oils from your hair, which can clog the pores. This is especially true if you have long hair, or if you experience more production of oil from the pores on your head.

2. Big ones

It can result due to polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause some changes in hormone levels that may cause irregular cycles. Some male type hormones that cause abnormal hair growth including big or bind pimples on the neck.

3. Small ones

Small bumps are usually associated with heat rash, a condition caused by swollen sweat ducts in the neck gland, according to WebMD. Heat rashes may appear pink or red in color and can also develop on the head and shoulders. Heat rashes are more common in infants, but adults can also develop the condition.  Any of the causes we have seen can cause small pimples too.

4. On neck and jawline

Neck and jawline are the most common zones prone to breakouts due to various factors such as hormonal shifts and the imbalances in the body and even acne mechanica, or the irritation acne.

The reason for the acne mechanica breaking out under tight straps is that they trap perspiration on the skin that leads to the growth of all kinds of bacteria in the pores.

5. On the side of neck

It is common to get acne in this area and on the jawline, especially large, deep, sometimes cystic pimples.  These blemishes are full of fluid (pus) and can be painful to touch.  Some of them are blind pimples or breakouts that are not very visible but are deep-seated, uncomfortable and take a long time to clear up.

6. On front of neck

When on this part, they can be due to many causes we have already seen including ingrown hairs. They may be small, big or cystic. They can painless or painful depending on their nature and exact reasons. 

7. Cystic pimples on neck

They are usually formed as result of skin infection and appear in the severe form. The cysts are more significant than the pustules, and they tend to be deeper into the skin thus may leave scar tissue behind after healing. Hormonal changes or imbalances commonly cause These types

8. Painful cases

Painful pimples can appear anywhere on the body part but can either cause mild discomfort or real pain. These are mainly cystic (deep, big,) or infected ones. Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and periods can trigger them. 

The pain can be due to irritation and be trying to pop them before they ripen.  Men having higher androgen hormones many suffer from severe cases compared to women. 

Hard ones

Swollen hard bumps caused by a tumor, a blind pimple or other skin conditions such as boils. If you have a painless, doesn't go away and keep growing, it could be due to a tumor. Such bump arises from abnormal growth of tissues whether benign or malignant.


There are a number treatments and remedies. Most of these treatments and solutions can be used to treat those affecting other parts of the body.

  • Oral antibiotics medication, which tends to control bacteria on the skin as well as reduce inflammation.
  • Prescription strength creams, gels, and lotions from a reputable manufacturer that contain retinoids such as Retin-A, azorac, aczone (anti-acne & anti-inflammatory) or differin.
  • Photodynamic Therapy that helps in reducing oil production, shrinking oil glands, and kill bacteria

Natural remedies

Home or natural treatments for those who have the problem this problem include the following:

Apply lemon juice

The application of lemon juice the affected area, which is very rich in vitamin C can help much. Lemon juice dries them up faster. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also an excellent remedy. It contains antibacterial properties that help deal with the bacteria that lead to these skin problems. Its soothing properties assist in reducing the redness and inflammation. It also helps to dry out blackheads as well as the whiteheads.

Apply Castor Oil

It helps heal up pimples and reduce the appearance of scars. 

Apply Olive Oil

It contains the vitamin E hence rich which makes it a good remedy for acne as well as ensuring you have a smooth flawless skin. 


  • Chin and Jawline Break Outs: What is Your Acne Saying about Your Health?
  • How to Get Rid of a Pimple That Won't Pop:
  • A pimple neck that won’t go away:
  • Home Remedies for Sebaceous Cyst:

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