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Whether it's an occasional occurrence or a regular problem, neck acne can be a frustrating and embarrassing skin condition. Although pimples most commonly occur on the face, the painful bumps can also appear on the chest, neck, back and body. For a simple fix, neck acne can be hidden with long hair, cosmetics, scarves, collared shirts or turtleneck sweaters. However, with a bit of patience, a proper skin care routine can help you get rid of pimples on the neck.
Cleanse your neck every night with a gentle cleanser. Use a mild antibacterial soap or a cleanser made specifically for facial skin. Massage it gently into the skin with your fingers. Avoid using harsh cleansers or scrubs on the delicate neck skin. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, these harsh problems "tend to irritate skin, which can worsen acne."
Apply an acne cream, gel or lotion after cleansing the neck skin. For the most effective acne-fighting actions, use a product with salicyclic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If you rarely have acne on the neck, simply apply the product directly over current pimples. However, if you are prone to regular acne breakouts on the neck, apply a thin layer of acne cream over the entire surface of the neck.
Moisturize the skin with a gentle oil-free moisturizer after applying acne cream. Although helpful, acne products can severely dry out the skin. Avoid this development by massaging a small amount of moisturizer into the neck skin with your fingers.
Avoid picking your pimples, even if they hurt or look unsightly. Popping, picking or squeezing the pimples will only cause the inflammation to become worse. Additionally, the dirt and oil on your fingers could actually worsen the problem. If the pimple does pop, an infection could develop under the skin.
Keep hair and hands off the neck as much as possible. When the hands and hair are dirty or saturated with oily products, these particles transfer to the neck skin through simple contact. Even when clean, the natural oils in your skin and hair can clog pores on the neck, triggering acne. If you have long hair, pull it off your neck while exercising, sweating and sleeping.
Apply only noncomedogenic and/or oil-free products on your face, hair and neck. Products that might be applied to the neck include sunscreen, moisturizer and cosmetics. Since products applied to the face and hair can easily drip onto the neck, pay careful attention to the cosmetics and hair products you use.