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Itchy Neck

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What is an itchy neck?

This is an irritating sensation that is accompanied by the persistent need to scratch your neck. Scratching your neck can temporarily stop the itching and let it heal but that is not an easy thing to do. It is just instinct that if something itches you scratch it, which will temporarily relieve this symptom. As mentioned, this could be a symptom of something is wrong and that it needs attention or it could just be an irritating itch

Itchy Neck Symptoms

What the symptoms of an itchy neck are varies as to what is the reason for having an itchy neck but there are some general symptoms that can accompany almost any case of itchy neck. Some of these symptoms can include:

  • Skin that is flaking
  • Skin that has a crust on it
  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Itchiness

Other symptoms that accompany your itchy neck could be ones that just occur with what is causing it such as:

  • Chills and/or fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain and stiffness

Itchy Neck Causes

There are so many things that can cause an itchy neck that it is impossible to name them all. When you neck starts to continually itch look at your neck as the appearance may be able to give you a clue as to what is the cause like little bumps, your skin is peeling or cracked, if the itch had started around the back of your ears and around your hairline, etc. You should also think back to see if you remember anything happening such as a insect bite, the change in soap or laundry detergent, wearing different perfume, moisturizer, etc. If you are not sure what is causing the itchiness you should talk to your physician.

Some of the many different causes can include:

Dry skin

This is usually the most common reason to have an itchy neck. This is most often seen during the winter and summer and can lead to the appearance of scales and cracks on your skin resulting from loss of moisture causing the dryness.

Excessive sweating

As the sweat starts to evaporate dirt and salt deposits are left on your skin’s surface. This could make it a great breeding ground for bacteria and pathogens that cause the itchiness because of clogged skin pores.

Prickly heat

During the summer is when you will most likely have this skin condition which can cause itchiness in the folds of your skin. It is triggered by humid weather which causes more sweating.

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Inflammation of your skin

This can be caused by a variety of things such as harsh soaps and chemicals, pollen, and pet dander. This type of itching is from contact dermatitis and is normally accompanied by swelling, intense itching, and hives.

Skin disorders

Two of the most common ones are psoriasis and dermatitis which are bacterial infections of your skin. You may also notice the itching also all over your body. They are usually caused because of environmental influences and characterized by itchy lesions, the eruption of scaly skin, and more. If you scratch at the itchiness it can lead secondary bacterial infections.

Infectious diseases

These can include having a yeast infection, pinworm, chickenpox, scabies, measles, or head lice.

  • Being exposed to heat or cold that is extreme
  • Allergic reactions to a medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Neurodermatitis which is the medical term for extreme itching
  • Sunburn
  • Insect bites

Itchy Neck Treatment

With most cases of itchy neck you can treat at home but these treatments may not cure the itchy neck. They may only give you relief from the itching. To get rid of what is causing the itchy neck you should talk to your physician to find the cause as you may need a prescription for stronger anti-itch medications, antibiotics, etc.

Some of the treatments that you can use include:

  • If you have recently changed soap, shower gel, shampoos, laundry detergent, moisturizers, etc and started it have itchy neck you need to stop using the products and find another one. If you have changed a couple of products at the same time you should stop one product and if that is not the cause, stop the other one. Once you get rid of the irritant the itching should stop.
  • Use over-the-counter products like calamine lotion, hydrocortisone creams, anti-itch creams, etc.
  • If it is from head lice you will need to get medicated shampoos to get rid of the lice and eggs. If the over-counter-medication does not work you should see your physician for a stronger shampoo.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and moist
  • Use anti-bacterial medications to treat the itching and infection caused by psoriasis and eczema. If these cases are severe your physician may give you a prescription to help control the spread of the rash and itchiness.
  • Soak in a warm bath that is mixed with tea tree oil, chamomile oil, jojoba oil, or oatmeal.
  • Follow a healthy diet, avoid stress, and long times in the sun.

If these home remedies and over-the-counter medications do not help, see your physician.


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