In some cases, dark patches or discolouration of the skin in the neck could be a sign of diabetes or a fungal infection, which needs to be treated. And hence, it is important to know what the dark patches on the neck indicate. Dr Pradip Shah, consultant physician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund lists three common skin conditions that dark patches on the neck indicate and when to take them seriously.
Acanthosis nigricans: It is a common skin condition seen in people who have type 2 diabetes. Also, know as dirty neck syndrome, there is brown to black hyperpigmentation of the skin, which is seen in the folds of the neck. It is also found in other body parts namely the armpits, groin, forehead and navel. It is due to the high levels of insulin, which affects the skin cells and mostly seen in people who are obese.
Excessive sweating: Not just dirt and lack of proper hygiene, excessive sweating in the neck region can lead to accumulation of the sweat in the neck folds. This, in turn, acts as a ground for fungal growth, leading to fungal infections. And hence, it causes dark colouration of the skin, which can only be treated with medications and ointments to fight fungus. You can prevent this condition by cleaning the neck every time you sweat to prevent accumulation of sweat in the neck.
Sun allergy/ photoallergy: Some people suffer from a condition known as sun allergy. This is a condition in which a person develops dark pigmentation when out in the sun. Although it is not a harmful condition, if you have any itching or severe sunburns it is recommended to consult a dermatologist. Here are 5 home remedies for sun allergy that will help you this summer.
In most cases, a generalised dark pigmentation (pigmentation all over the body) is not a sign to worry. However, if you have localised dark patches, then you need to consult a doctor as it could indicate an underlying skin condition or a fungal infection. Also, if you have pus formation, severe itching and irritation or any discomfort in the neck along with dark patches, it is wise to visit a dermatologist to know the exact cause and get treated. However, if there is no pain or itching in the neck because of dark patches, it might indicate no health problem but a natural phenomenon. Also, read about 7 causes of skin rashes you might not know about.