Do you experience itchy neck or skin around your neck? Have you at times ever imagined what causes such annoying condition with rash or without a rash? This condition can be very irritating and be upsetting especially when the itch become chronic.
The following is a discussion aimed at providing an insight on causes, symptoms, meaning with or without a rash as well as when it happens at night, effective treatments options and more.
What causes it
Itchy skin is a common condition that can occur in various parts of the body including neck, back, stomach, hands, chest, legs, scalp, torso and more. The main causes are infections, allergic reaction or insect bites. This problem may occur alongside other symptoms depending on various reasons behind it.
Most cases the itchiness is mild and disappear of their own but when it is sudden, severe or abnormal should not be ignored. Read on to learn more about the common cause.
1. Skin Disorders
There are several skin disorders that have been associated with itchy skin in various body parts including the neck. Many of these disorders are due to bacterial and fungal infections. Two of the most common skin conditions are Psoriasis and dermatitis. Other skin conditions include urticaria, folliculitis, and prurigo among others.
They are usually influenced by environmental factors and they can occur alongside itchy skin rashes or scaly skin and more. Remember that scratching due to this problem may result in secondary infections!
2. Parasites, arachnids and insect bite allergies
It can also be due to reaction to parasite, arachnid or insect bites. This may accompany red itchy rash or itchy skin at night. The good thing with causes due parasites, insects or arachnids is that, they only last for few hours then disappear. Below are the parasites, insects and arachnids that can bit the skin or burrow in the skin to cause this problem:
- Head lice
- Mosquito bites
3. Dry Skin
According to Mddk.com, “This is usually the most common reason to have an itchy neck.” It is a condition often experienced during extreme climatic conditions i.e. during winter, summer, and is very prevalent in aged people.
Livestrong.com states that, “Dry skin is especially prevalent among the elderly and can lead to an itchy neck and other itchy body parts.” It can result to scales and crack on the affected neck skin. This is due to loss of protective layer of skin oil.
Other triggers for dry neck skin may include sunburn, strong soaps, and vigorous exercise, not drinking enough fluids, smoking or when you shower frequently and you don’t moisturize your body.
4. Improper clothing
Are your clothes making your neck itch and you develop rashes where they rub against it? If so, then you are not alone in this. Many people are discovering that the kind of clothes they put on is making them can cause this problem including rash. Here are some of the causes of textile allergy:
- Remains of detergent and perfumes in clothes may lead to irritation.
- Friction from clothing
- Latex from gloves, rubber additives and in elastic.
- Chemicals used to dye and process leather
- Nickel in buckles and cheap jewelry in clothes
- Dyes on inexpensive beaded costume jewelry.
- Some types of jewelry
5. Hair or skin care products
Inflammation of the neck skin can be caused by variety of factors such as harsh soaps, skin lightening products, scented creams, shampoos or general chemicals (cosmetics) used as skin or hair care products. This is a common problem with people having very sensitive skin. Pregnant women or persons with weak immune system can be greatly affected with allergies from hair and skin care products.
6. Hormonal imbalances- (during pregnancy, menopause)
Hormonal changes in some stages of life can also lead to this offensive condition. Changes in the levels of hormones such as oestrogen can make sweat and oil gland to be overactive hence producing excess oil and sweat which thereafter, can block the skin pores. This condition can lead to developments of acnes or pimples including neck acne. Hormonal fluctuations is a common condition during the following stages:
7. Infectious Diseases
Bacterial or Fungal Infections also may lead to common skin rashes. Many infections usually occur alongside rashes that can extremely itch. Listed below are the infections that can cause it:
- Candidiasis or yeast infection
- Head lice
- Tinea versicolor
8. Medication Side Effects or Drug Allergies
According to Medlineplus.gov, “Drug allergies are a group of symptoms caused by an allergic reaction to a drug (medicine).” The problem may not show up the first time your take up the medication though, your immune system may produce antibody against the medication.
The next time you take the medicine, the antibody will influence the white blood cells to produce histamines and more chemical which may induce symptoms such as rashes, hives or itchy bumps on skin. Some of the allergy-causing drugs are:
- Penicillin and related antibiotics
- Sulfa drugs
- Drugs used to treat seizures
- Substances containing iodine, such as x-ray contrast dyes
9. Other Causes Include:
- Neurodermatitis (extreme itching)
- Chronic problem of kidney, heart or any other internal body organ
Symptoms to expect
Like we had mentioned before, itchy neck may occur alongside certain symptoms depending on the underlying diseases, disorders or conditions. Again, some causes may also involve other body parts or organs and such causes can result to very serious symptoms that may be actually life-threatening. These symptoms can be localized or generalized. Listed below are some of the symptoms that usually occur with this problem:
- Painful skin
- Redness, swelling or warmth of the affected neck skin
- Formation of scales
- Tenderness of the skin around neck
- Flaking or crusting skin
Apart from the above listed symptoms, more symptoms that can also occur with neck itch are, runny nose, headache, sore Throat, cough, fever and chills, sweating and joint pain and stiffness.
Usually, normal cases will resolve of its own after some time. However, in case you develop itching that continues with other symptoms like breathlessness, vomiting, throat tightness or nausea, then be sure to seek emergency medical service.
These can be serious symptoms of a severe problem such as anaphylaxis, chronic renal failure, obstructive biliary disease or very serious allergy may be due to certain medication or otherwise.
Without a skin rash
There are many types of skin rash, which can be due to a number of causes or factors. Many of these factors usually lead to itchy skin with a rash. However, there are also causes that lead to this problem without rash completely. “It is rather difficult to determine the origin of itchiness especially in itchiness without the evident skin rash.” [healthool.com]. Causes of cases without rash are:
- Body reaction to drugs such as antibiotics or antifungals
- Allergic reactions
- Kidney Disorders
- Dry skin
- Cholestasis (a liver condition that occur during later stage of pregnancy)
Important Note: The above causes can also lead to itchy or non-itchy rashes
Treatments – relief remedies and cures
Actually, the target you should have when treating this problem is to hasten the relief of itchiness and prevent more skin damage that may lead to secondary infections. The kind of treatment considered for neck itch will basically rely on the causes as well as the severity of resultant symptoms. Read on to explore the best remedies you can give a try.
1. Home Remedies
Many home remedies can be applied to relieve this problem. Many of them are very effective for resolving itching and swelling. Home remedies are highly recommended by medical experts include:
Cold application is really effective for relieving itchy skin. This can be done by running cold water and washing the affected area with it. Another cold application is through taking cold bath or shower. Remember to moisturize your skin after applying a cold compress to avoid skin dryness.
Application of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an amazing product that can help get rid of skin dryness that may trigger itchy body skin. Get a coconut oil, melt it by gentle heat, and then apply it on the affected skin. You can repeat the procedure until the skin dryness is resolved.
Aloe gel has been highly rated as the most effective natural product for many skin conditions. It has got vital properties such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and moisturizing properties that make it very effective for skin conditions. Get fresh aloe Vera gel and then apply it on the affected skin and leave for around 10 minutes and then wash it off. This is the most effective skin rash treatment.
Tea tree oil remedy
Add 2-3 drop of tea tree oil and mix with one teaspoon of vegetable oil and then apply it on the affected skin. Regular application of this remedy will help relieve itchiness and get rid of skin dryness. This is because tea tree oil is a wonderful antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing and anti-inflammation product.
Besides the above home remedies, these remedies can also apply oatmeal bath, honey, baking soda, egg white, lemon juice, and onion juice among many more.
Most cases can be treated at home using home remedies but there are some causes where such remedies may not cure the itchy skin especially for severe itching, for instance, those due to kidney or heart disorders.
Such conditions needs consultation with your doctor or physician to know the underlying causes and prescribe appropriate or stronger medications. Some of the treatments that your doctor may prescribe include:
- Oral or topical antibiotics
- Antihistamines for neck itch allergies
- corticosteroid creams
- Lotions that contain camphor, calamine or menthol
- anesthetics that contain benzocaine or lidocaine
There still more treatments options that medical experts can prescribe, that will depend on the causes. For the Severe itchy neck, more advanced treatments such as light therapy can be applied.
When to See a Doctor
You need to see your doctor for cases where this condition persists for more than 2 days. You must also see your doctor if you cannot explain why you are itching, if you develop an itchy rash all over the body or when the itching is preventing you from doing your everyday activities.
Also, contact your doctor when your neck itch is accompanied by additional symptoms such as weight loss, redness of the skin, fever, urgency to urinate or vomiting and nausea.
Sources of References