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Itchy Neck Rash

Bothered by itchy skin rash? Here are some self-care measures you can use to manage the condition, alongside some helpful information on the possible causes of the condition.
Kalpana Kumari
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Since skin rashes are characterized by a change in the texture and the color of the skin, a rash on neck is conspicuous owing to its location. An unsightly neck rash can certainly be a cause of concern for those who are very conscious about their appearance. Moreover, one may also feel troubled when a neck rash is itchy and causes a burning sensation.
Skin rashes can be caused due to a wide range of reasons. A weakened immune system can definitely make one susceptible to skin ailments.
▶ Acanthosis nigricans
Acanthosis nigricans is one of the major causes of itchy neck rash. It is a skin disorder that is marked by darkening and thickening of skin folds. The affected skin appears with velvety patches. The common place of its occurrence is back of the neck. It may also occur on armpit or groin. Acanthosis nigricans may be a symptom of conditions such as Cushing's disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, carcinoma of the viscera and tumor of the pituitary gland. Those who suffer from glandular or endocrine abnormalities are also susceptible to developing such a rash. There is no effective cure for Acanthosis nigricans; however, treating the underlying cause may help in alleviating the symptoms.
▶ Furunculosis
Furunculosis is an acute skin disease which gives rise to recurrent boils. The boils are basically caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Boils are described as tender pus-filled bumps on the skin resulting from infection of a hair follicle. If left untreated, the boils grow and merge with the surrounding ones to form a giant, hydra-headed boil. This is medically termed carbuncle. There are chances of infection getting into the bloodstream and causing more serious complications. Therefore, itchy rash on neck caused by furunculosis needs immediate medical treatment.
▶ Seborrheic Keratosis
Seborrheic keratosis is one of the common causes of neck rash in older people, who are generally above 30 years of age. It is a fairly harmless skin condition caused by excessive growth of the upper layer of skin. The affected skin may appear either as one growth or in clusters. The diseased part of the skin may vary in color. It can be brown, light tan or even black. Even the diameter of the abnormal growth differs from case to case. Usually it is between 1-2.3 centimeters. Seborrheic keratosis can occur on any part of the body. In majority of the cases, it is found to develop on chest, scalp, face, back and neck. It is treated by cryotherapy, curettage, laser treatment, or electrocautery.
▶ Tinea versicolor
Tinea versicolor is also termed pityriasis versicolor. It is caused by a yeast called Malassezia globosa. This yeast, normally lives on the surface of human body. If there is excessive oiliness, moisture and warmth on skin, it grows and reproduces to form large colonies. This leads to the infection called Tinea versicolor. The skin rash found on the neck due to this disease is usually not itchy. The rashes become itchy and troublesome under certain circumstances such as high humidity and high or low temperature.
▶ Epidermoid Cyst
Other reasons for the development of an neck rash is the presence of epidermoid cyst on the neck. Sebaceous cyst is another term to describe it. It contains a soft material comprising keratin, which is a protein component of skin, nails and hair. The main reason behind the formation of epidermoid cyst is physical trauma that triggers the growth of epidermis (topmost layer of skin) into dermis (the middle layer of skin). Epidermoid cysts do not have any particular symptoms. However, the rupturing of the lesion may cause significant discomfort.
▶ Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Allergy prone people are most likely to get this skin condition. Extreme dry skin may cause irritation which may result in intense itching further aggravation the condition. Extreme heat, humidity, abrasive clothes, soap, smoke, etc., are some of the factors which may triggers eczema. Excessive scratching may result in the breaking of the upper layer of the skin which may cause serious infection. Though exact cause of eczema is still not known and there is no proper cure for this skin condition.
▶ Irritant Contact Dermatitis
This condition is caused by direct chemical injury to the skin. It can be observed within few hours after coming in contact with the chemical. The person may complain of burning or stinging sensation, chronic irritation, inflammation, peeling of the skin, pink or red lesions, etc.

Some people may develop an allergic neck rash if the skin comes in contact with jewelry that contains nickel. Chemicals present in cosmetic products, such as perfumes, aftershave, shampoos, and hair dyes can also cause an itchy rash. It, therefore, is essential to refrain from using such products. Hives (urticaria) and psoriasis can also cause itchy rash on neck.
Self-care Measures
Try the following natural treatments for getting relief from an itchy rash on neck.
  • Fill a tub with cold water. Soak yourself into it for about 20 minutes. Make sure that your neck is completely immersed in cold water. Do it once or twice a day. This will provide you relief and will speed up the process of healing.
  • Non-prescription topical creams and lotions containing hydrocortisone will alleviate itching from the neck rash. Strictly follow the usage direction present on the pack.
  • Over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl may prove to be helpful in relieving inflammation from the itchy neck rash.
  • Take a tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with 2-3 drops of water, so as to make a paste. Apply this on the rash. Leave it on for about an hour and then rinse it off well with water. Do it 2-3 times a day for fast recovery.
  • Fill the bathtub with warm water, and add a cup each of cornstarch, oatmeal, and baking soda to it. Mix all the ingredients well, and soak up its goodness. Spend about 10-15 minutes in this mixture before taking a bath with freshwater.
  • Aloe vera gel is known for its anti-inflammation and natural healing properties, which soothes the skin and reduces irritation. Keep the aloe vera gel in the fridge for 30 minutes before using it. This will make it more effective.
  • Water plays a very important role in keeping the body hydrated and maintaining the moisture of the skin. So, drink at least 8-9 glasses of water everyday. This will keep the skin moisturized, which in turn will keep the irritation under control.
In addition to trying the aforementioned home remedies, you should try to strengthen your immune system. A strong immune system will fight the causative agent and provide relief. It will also prevent the occurrence of such neck rashes in future. So, increase the intake of immune-boosting foods. If the home remedies are not providing satisfactory results, pay a visit to a dermatologist immediately.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.