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).
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.
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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