Nape of Neck Scars

Women and men with darker skin often have stiffer or curlier hair and may develop scarring across the nape of the neck. The scarring can develop from skin bumps arising from hair clippers or shavers used in haircuts or from acne around the hairline. The Henry Ford Multicultural Dermatology Clinic specializes in treating people with this condition (called acne keloidalis nuchae or folliculitis keloidalis nuchae). Nape of neck scars most often affect African-American men but can occur in women and men of other ethnic heritages who have darker skin and coarser types of hair.


When the hair is shaved or closely cut, hairs break and drop below the skin's surface. Tightly curled hair can grow back at an angle that pierces the skin and grows inward, causing bumps. This can also occur from acne in which the hair beneath the skin grows inward. Left untreated, the bumps grow larger and may merge into a large, raised scar.


Early treatment is most important. The Henry Ford Multicultural Dermatology Clinic provides a range of options from early signs and symptoms to the most severe cases. Treatment options include medicated creams, oral antibiotics, and laser therapies. Henry Ford's long-pulse YAG laser can be used in hair removal to prevent the condition from recurring. In severe cases, the affected area can be surgically removed.

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