Black Spots On Back, Neck & Shoulders: Causes and Treatment

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Black Spots On Back And Neck

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Keeping our skin spot free has been a consistent desire of people everywhere. One skin condition that makes achieving this difficult, is the appearance of black spots on back and neck, also around shoulders. Black spots are usually harmless; The causes may be varied ranging from simple sunspots to conditions like skin cancers which may need immediate attention. It is important to consult a dermatologist who can diagnose the cause of these black spots and suggest an appropriate treatment to get rid of them.

Black Spots On The Back And Neck

Dark spots on the neck, back and shoulders may be discrete or diffuse and are often confused with dirt that you can wash off. However, these black or dark spots are signs of hyperpigmentation where patches of skin become darker in colour than surrounding normal skin. While they can appear anywhere on your body, dark spots usually develop on areas that have maximum exposure to the sun.

Also Read: Effective Treatment For Black Spots On Back And Neck

Causes Of Black Spots On Back And Neck

Dark spots on the back and neck can develop due to many reasons, like the following:

  1. Excessive exposure to UV rays: Either overexposure to the UV rays due to frequent stepping out into the sun without adequate sun protection or excessive use of artificial tanning can result in dark spots on the back and neck. This is because of excessive melanin production in the skin.
  2. Skin conditions: Riehl’s Melanosis, Acne, Macular Amyloidosis, Lichen Planus Pigmentosus, etc. can cause dark spots on the neck and back.
  3. Ageing: Solar lentigines or liver spots are dark spots that are common in people above 40 years of age.
  4. Acanthosis Nigricans: The condition commonly affects the neck and body folds like underarms etc. The skin looks velvety and thickened and appears like a dirty neck. It occurs because of excessive weight gain and insulin hormone imbalance.
  5. Side effects of Medication: Use of drugs like Tetracyclines, Phenytoin, Sulfonamides, Estrogens, Amiodarone, Phenothiazines, etc. can result in black spots on back and shoulders.
  6. Medical conditions: Certain health concerns like liver disease, Addison’s disease, Pituitary tumours, hemochromatosis, etc. can cause the formation of dark spots on the back.

Also Read: Safe Treatment For Black Spots That Really Work

Symptoms Of Black Spots On Back, Neck & Shoulders

Read further to know how the black spots on back, neck and shoulders look.

  • The dark spots can range in colour from dark brown to black or slate grey.
  • They are painless.
  • The texture of a black spot may be smooth or uneven similar to the surrounding skin.
  • Solar lentigines are usually flat and oval.

Treatment For Black Spots On Back And Neck

A dermatologist may use any of the following methods to reduce the black spots on your back and neck depending on the condition:

  • Laser Treatment: This procedure involves the use of laser emissions to disintegrate the pigment selectively. Cells responsible for the appearance of black spots on back and neck, It also helps stimulate collagen production for faster healing. It is an effective treatment for reducing dark spots.
  • Chemical Peels: There are different types of chemical peels, which can help you get rid of your dark spots. These peels contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids derived from natural sources of varying strengths and work by exfoliating and removing the damaged skin cells and accumulated pigment in the superficial layers of the skin. Some of the best chemical peels that are effective in treating dark spots are glycolic peels and trichloroacetic peels.
  • Microneedling: It is one of the common treatments for dark spots as it does not use any chemicals and it encourages the body to heal on its own. It involves the use of a hand-held device that contains several tiny needles, which help in stimulating collagen production in the skin.
  • Dermabrasion: This procedure removes layers of skin painlessly with the use of a wire or a diamond-tipped instrument. Dermabrasion works effectively for reducing spots that penetrate deeper than the epidermis (top layer of skin).
  • Skin Lightening Creams: There are a large number of skin lightening creams available in the market. They can help in reducing a few types of dark spots if you apply them in a proper dose and for a duration recommended by your dermatologist. One of the most common ingredients present in these skin-lightening creams is hydroquinone. They also contain Kojic Acid, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Azelaic Acid, etc. Though these creams may be useful, they generally offer temporary results and have to be used under the guidance of a Dermatologist.
  • Home Remedies: Many people often try to get rid of the black spots by using home remedies; however, it is advisable to visit a dermatologist who can find out the root cause of this pigmentary concern and suggest an effective treatment accordingly.

    Also Read: Do Chemical Peels Remove Dark Spots?

Tips For Prevention Of Black Spots On Back And Neck:

Here are a few simple tips you can follow to prevent dark spots on your body.

  1. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 to protect your skin from UV rays before stepping out.
  2. Cover up all extremities of your body to protect them from sun damage. Wear hats, gloves, scarves, shades, etc. to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays.
  3. Do not touch, scratch or pick up wounds or scabs to avoid long-term scarring.

Remember, dark spots on your back, shoulders and neck may indicate an underlying health condition. Therefore, it is critical to understand how to treat them. If you are suffering from dark spots, go ahead and seek immediate medical attention to safeguard your skin health today.

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About The Author

Dr. T N Rekha Singh

Dr. T N Rekha Singh

Dr TN Rekha Singh is an MBBS, MD in Dermatology, Venerealogy and Leprology from Andhra Pradesh with over 10 years of experience in the areas of dermatology and trichology. Working as a Senior Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist and Trichologist with Oliva Clinics for 8 years now, she has trained over 60 Doctors in the areas of skin and hair care. One of the pioneer dermatologists with Oliva, she has been exemplary in bringing clinical marvels in addition to mentoring MD dermatologists and therapists. She was awarded for her research at the AP state conference, and has participated and presented papers at many national and international dermatology conferences. She is dedicated in bringing beauty and wellness through real science of transformation, giving real results. She enjoys reading, travelling and cooking. She lives with her husband and two kids in Hyderabad.

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