Acne keloidalis nuchae--also known as keloidal folliculitis or nuchal keloidal acne--is a dermatologic condition caused by ingrown hairs along the back of the neck. The ingrown hairs become inflamed and form acne-like bumps and lesions. If left untreated, scarring can result. While it's recommended that you see a dermatologist if you notice signs of this condition, there are self-care options available that will help to reduce inflammation and irritation on the back of the neck.
Wash the back of your neck with a gentle, alcohol-free, nonabrasive cleanser. If the affected area along the back of your neck meets your hairline, avoid using shampoos with heavy detergents; instead, wash your hair with baby shampoo, as it has a gentle formula that will not irritate the area. Do not wash the acne-like lesions too often and do not scrub when cleaning the area, as that could worsen the condition and cause further inflammation.
Avoid shaving too close to the affected area, as shaving can worsen inflammation; don't cut your hair very short around the neck, either, since hairstyles cut very close to the scalp and neck can exacerbate acne keloidalis nuchae. Stop using hair products like pomades or heavy gels.
Do not scratch the affected area and do not pinch or pick at the acne bumps. If the area becomes itchy, apply an OTC anti-itch cream to the back of your neck. If necessary, wear mitts over your hands while you sleep, so you do not scratch the area at night.
Avoid wearing caps, hats, or athletic head gear, since they can rub up against the neck and further irritate the lesions. Also don't wear shirts with high collars, since these can rub up against your neck as well.