Are you looking for new necklaces, but you are not sure about some of the potential effects of wearing the necklace, given your skin’s sensitive nature?
While necklaces are great at accentuating your appearance, you should know that there is always the risk of the necklace turning your skin dark, green, or full of rashes.
So, if you are looking for the best jewelry but need to learn all there is to know about jewelry potentially tarnishing and discoloring your skin, this article shares important insights into everything you need to know about necklaces turning the neck dark.
Do necklaces make your neck black?
Yes, your favorite necklace could turn your skin black after some time. If you’ve noticed some thick black or brown lines around the back of your neck and on the sides, or if you have noticed this on someone else, you might be thinking that the necklace needs some cleaning. But, this isn’t always about the necklace being dirty or tarnished – it might be because of a condition that is known as acanthosis nigricans.
Acanthosis nigricans can be defined as a condition that affects most parts of the body, not just the neck. The darkening often affects the folds of your skin, meaning that there could also be darkening around your groin and the armpits. There also are instances of whether the darkening is noticeable at the back of your knees, on your soles or palms, under your breasts, and in front of the elbow.
Unfortunately, these black patches cannot be easily rubbed off, and they actually feel velvety and dry to the touch. The skin also tends to thicken, and it will occasionally feel itchy with skin tags.
With this condition, the skin would darken because of hyperpigmentation, and the affected areas would also grow thicker because of something called hyperkeratosis.
Why do necklaces make your neck green or black?
So, why do necklaces cause green or black discoloration on the skin?
The first reason why a necklace would tarnish your skin is because of tarnishing. When the necklace tarnishes, the tarnish is deposited on the skin, making the neck black.
But this isn’t the only reason why your skin might turn black. There are many other reasons why the necklace turns the skin black. This is because there is more than one cause of acanthosis nigricans.
The main reasons are as follows:
Hormonal changes related to insulin resistance. These hormonal changes are associated with conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or Acromegaly.
With insulin resistance, for example, there is an issue with the central distribution of fats in the body, which is also known as the ‘apple shape,’ which is a common indicator of Type II Diabetes.
Corticosteroids also play into this, and they are associated with acanthosis nigricans.
And in rare cases, the thickening of the skin and the dark skin can be associated with cancer, especially when the darkening of the skin is around your stomach. In such cases, the form of cancer is known as malignant acanthosis nigricans. It common in middle-aged persons who are not obese, and the patches often develop rather abruptly.
How to clean your dark necks because of jewelry tarnishing.
As mentioned above, the darkening of the skin around the skin is not always caused by a medical condition; there are far too many times when the darkening of your neck is an actual result of your necklace tarnishing, leaving with a darkened skin. In such cases, getting rid of the discoloration will not be the toughest thing for you to do. In most cases, getting rid of the dark discoloration on your skin from the necklace will be done easily if you follow these steps:
Wash the affected parts of your skin using liquid soap, warm water, and a soft cotton washcloth. If the neck area is heavily stained, you could also mix a tablespoon of baking soda and salt mixed with warm water on a dish and a clean washcloth.
Essentially, the darkening of the skin results from the oxidization of sterling silver when exposed to oxygen. This causes the tarnishing of the sterling silver jewelry. There is also the fact that the darkening of your skin might be worsened by a high degree of acidity on your skin, and this will only accelerate the tarnishing of the jewelry and the transfer of the tarnish onto your neck.
You could wash or polish your new sterling silver necklace on a regular basis to reduce or get rid of the staining. But once your skin is tarnished, you’d have to clean your neck. To do this, remove the silver/ sterling silver jewelry from your skin, then moisten your washcloth using warm water. Drop about two drops of the liquid soap on the washcloth, then rub the soapy cloth on the affected areas of your skin to get rid of the discoloration of the skin.
Rinse the washcloth using warm, clean water, then wring out excess water. Wipe the soap off your skin, then dry the neck with a clean, lint-free towel.
If the stain is too deep or stubborn, you’d want to treat the remaining discolorations by cleaning the affected areas of your skin using an alcohol-based cotton ball. Rub or wipe that stained areas of the skin using the cotton ball, then dry it using a clean towel to get rid of the remaining stains and any remaining alcohol that could be left on the skin.
That said, if your skin keeps turning grey, black, or green each time you wear a necklace, it would mean that you are allergic to one of the metal alloys in the necklace or the sterling silver, which means that it might be time for you to find a necklace made of skin-safe and non-allergenic jewelry. You could also try to see a dermatologist determine what metal you are allergic to.
Your necklace could cause the darkening of the neck, and you could remove the staining on your skin using warm water, liquid soap, and a washcloth, a regular facial cleaner with water, or rubbing alcohol-soaked in cotton balls.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.