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Itchy Neck – Causes, Treatment, Remedies

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

The skin around the neck can be itchy due to a number of skin conditions. Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a chronic skin disease that includes a variety of skin conditions including allergies and inheritable disorders. Itchiness around the neck may result in uncomfortable situations especially due to shirt collars and necklaces although it may not be harmful. This condition affects approximately 85% of children during the first years of life though both men and women under 30 years of age are also affected.


Factors such as extreme weather conditions can influence the development of itchy neck rash. Presence of allergens such as laundry detergents or soaps and bedding are known to cause itchy neck rash. Mild allergic reactions especially due to allergens may clear within days upon change of laundry detergents but medical attention should be sought in case the itchy neck rash is accompanied by breathing difficulty.

A common condition that results in a red itchy rash around the neck is heat rash or miliaria. This occurs as a result of clogging of sweat glands thereby trapping heat underneath the skin. Mild symptoms can be quickly alleviated by loosening the shirt collar while severe symptoms can result in irritation around the neck area. Staying in cool air conditioned rooms and wearing loose fitting clothing is necessary to prevent this condition.

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Itchy Neck Causes

Generally skin disorders are disturbing and the problems are aggravated by presence of a skin disease. Some of the causes of itchy neck rash include:

  • A skin disorder called acanthosis nigricans which is characterized by smooth patches. This may occur on different body regions such as the neck, armpits and groin. This disorder has no treatment and symptoms include diabetes mellitus, cushing disease and increase in body fat.
  • A common cause of itchy neck rash in the elderly is seborrheic keratosis which develops on the skin surface resulting in color change thus considered risk free. The condition can also affect the chest, face, scalp and back.
  • Furunculosis which is a severe skin disease characterized by development of boils albeit periodically. These boils develop as a result of pus forming pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus and Streptococcus). Over-development of the boil due to lack of treatment results in a carbuncle which may be severe.
  • Pityriasis versicolor or Tinea versicolor is a skin infection caused by the yeast Malassezia globosa which develops due to excess oil, moisture and skin warmth. This results in irritating rashes especially during high humidity and increased or reduced temperatures.
  • Epidermoid or sebaceous cyst which contains keratin and this occurs as a result of physical strain which generates growth of the epidermis.
  • Hair dyes, perfumes and make up may cause itchy neck rash and swelling of eyelids to allergic people resulting in skin inflammation.
  • Bacterial infection in men sporting beards may result in development of red bumps and itchy neck soon after shaving.

Itchy Neck Treatment and Remedies

  • A paste of baking soda and water mixture can be placed on the itchy rash for an hour is effective.
  • Over the counter creams containing hydrocortisone as an ingredient are also effective since they lessen the itching. This should only be done upon consultation with a pharmacist to avoid skin reactions.
  • Aloe vera lotion application can be done to soothe the skin and this is advantageous since the lotion is natural.

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