8 Possible Causes of Brown Spots on Neck

Brown spots on neck causes

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Have you recently noted some brown spots on your neck? What are they? You should know that any spot on your face or neck region is due to hyperpigmentation. Some people assume any brown spots on the neck is a solar lentigo. However, they have more causes besides the sun.

Brown spots indicate many things. They are not just liver, age or sun spots as many people will assume. They have many causes which we are going to discuss in detail.

Brown spots on neck causes

What causes the brown blotches and patches

If they are solar lentigines, then you are not likely to get these brown spots in teenagers, but in people who are in their early 40s going upward.

This, however, doesn’t mean that young people can’t get these on the neck. In some rare cases, people below 30 years can also have them.

If you having them? Just know that they are harmless. However, they change how you look and feel about yourself. You should, therefore, consult your doctor to ascertain their actual cause.

Are they solar lentigines?

As you will realize, brown spots on your neck region could be for several reasons. In case you suspect they are sunspots or patches, then, they should not only be confined in the neck region alone. You are likely to see them in other body parts.

According to, they can be found in body parts that are directly exposed to the UV rays. These parts may include:

  • The hands
  • Face
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Shoulders back

Although brown in color, at times they might have multiple colors within one region. For example, it is possible to have brown, black and gray spots in one body part. You can only identify them by seeing them as they don’t have any symptom.

Initially, they will appear like small dots. If exposed to UV light for some time, they grow. However, they neither itch nor hurt. Therefore, it is advisable to seek prompt medical attention to address them

According to, the neck region is always exposed to the UV light. This explains why it is highly susceptible to these spots. Covering your neck with a piece of clothing can prevent it from getting pigmented.

Why does the skin turn brown?

Before discussing the causes all their causes, let us examine why the skin turns brown. According to, skin blotches on the neck indicate two things:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is usually due to excess production of melanin. Did you know that you look how you look due to melanin? Just imagine what would happen if the cells in your neck produce excess melanin?

This leads to discoloration. Some parts of your skin become darker while others remain lighter. For dark-skinned people, the neck develops brown patches. For light-skinned people, it develops dark patches.

Hypopigmentation is the opposite of hyperpigmentation. Unlike hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation involves the limited production of melanin. This is the leading cause of brown spots on the neck.

In most cases, the skin starts with small brown spots. They grow with time to become big white patches. They will be more pronounced among the dark-skinned people. Hypopigmentation is common around the back, shoulders, face and neck regions.

Brown spots on neck causes

What does a brown spot on neck mean? Is it an infection, sun exposure, or is it just normal? The truth of the matter is these spots on the neck and other body parts, are caused by various reasons and conditions.

The 8 common causes include:


If brown spots on the neck are because of age, then they are known as age spots. According to, they are also known as senile lentigo or solar lentigines. They are mainly attributed to the following two factors:

  • Overproduction of melanin
  • Over-exposure to UV light

Apart from this area, you can also develop age spots on the shoulders, back, arms, face, and hands. It is noted people with light skins are at a higher risk of getting them.

UV light

Over-exposure to UV light is the leading cause of both hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Somebody parts, such as the neck, are always uncovered, thus getting exposed to UV rays.

According to, the UV light makes your neck cells to produce excess melanin. When this extra melanin is produced, the brown colored spots will emerge. However, if they are because of UV light exposure take years to from. {

Liver problems

If you ask a hepatologist, he will tell you that liver problems may cause skin discoloration. According to, brownish spots on necks can be some of the external signs of a liver disease.

If this is the case, then you will also the following symptoms that come along with the liver spots:

  • Skin rashes
  • Yellow eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Red palms

If you note the above symptoms, see a hepatologist as soon as possible. This may help in preventing further complications such as liver cancer, liver failure or even liver cirrhosis.

Vitamin B deficiency

If your body lacks vitamin B12, then you are likely to see these spots on your neck and other body parts. Lesions and skin discoloration are highly attributed to vitamin B12 deficiency.

According to, cutaneous manifestations are signs that your body lacks vitamin B12. These manifestations are common in the hands, neck, face, and back.

Allergic reactions

They may not indicate any sickness at all. It might be an allergic reaction to makeup. Some oils and creams used may cause some discoloration. If this is the case, you might have used these creams for long without realizing the danger that you are causing on your skin.

Most of the bleaching agents can also leave patches on your skin. This is common among light-skinned people who wish to make their skin lighter.


Acne is caused by inflammation of the hair follicle. The inflammation is due to accumulation of oil and dead skin cells. When acne appears on the neck, one develops:

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Pimples

To clear these acne effects, the skin gets discolored. As a result, one develops brown spots. For other people, the spots are dark in color.

Skin cancer

Though rare, they can signify early symptoms of skin cancer. You shouldn’t, however, get worried as this has not been scientifically proven.


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most of the symptoms of diabetes are identified on the skin, especially on the neck.

Firstly, one develops yellow or brown patches on various body parts, including this region. This, however, starts with small brown spots that later become patches. Apart from the spots, the skin may also get painful and itchy.

Natural remedies for brown patches and spots on the neck?

You shouldn’t get worried if you are having brown spots on the neck. There are many natural home remedies can provide relief. Some of these remedies include:

  • Lemon Juice- Smearing this juice on your neck three times a day will make the spots to disappear.
  • You can use a mustard mask, especially if they are as a result of acne.
  • Apply tomato juice, especially at night. Cover it to work on your skin overnight.
  • You can also apply some honey on the same.


  1. Understanding Brown Discoloration on Neck and Chest
  2. Neck and Chest Issues
  3. Skin Blotches on the Neck
  4. 38 Causes of Discolored Skin Patches
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