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Dark areas on neck
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Dark areas on neck

I hope someone can help me.   I am a 30 year old white women.  As far back as I can remember I've had a dark "ring" around my neck.  The skin feels normal, not thick or rough, but it is really dark.  I feel like I look dirty.  When I was a child my mother would scrub at it but it would not go away.  Everyday I wash/scrub the area but it doesn't seem to improve.  I also miosturize the area after I shower.  I have never been able to wear my hair up, or cut it short, because my neck looks so terrible.  Have you ever heardof this?  Is there anything I can do about it?  ( I also have dark elbows and knees, but not nearly as bad as my neck).  
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I can't be sure without seeing you, of course, but I think you may have acanthosis nigricans.  (This literally means "dark thickening.")  It's pretty common and most of the time of no significance beyond appearance.  I recommend that you consult a dermatologist for diagnosis and perhaps treatment with topical creams which can help smooth and lighten the skin.  It's slow going, but improvement is possible.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
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silverbook- have you ever put alcohol on a cotton ball and rubbed your neck?  my 29 year old son has also had this for years(i too was telling him to scrub his neck all the time) and i did not think too much of it until yesterday when he went to a dermatologist who said he had to lose some weight because that is a sign of some serious conditions like diabetes.
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