Have you had rash on the neck that just won’t go? Is the development making it difficult for you to mix up with friends or even wear dresses that expose the neck area? I perfectly understand how you feel. Having rash on neck can cause one to be socially withdrawn sometimes. But be rest assured that your condition has a solution.
In this write-up, I shall be talking about the signs and symptoms, causes of rash on neck, its treatment, home remedies, and when you need to see a doctor. So, if you are one of those millions of people suffering from this embarrassing health condition, please pay attention and make sure that you read this post to the end.
Signs and Symptoms of Rash on Neck
- Rashes on the neck, with red, purple, silver or white colour
- Rashes with raised, flat or bumpy texture
- Spots or dots that cover a large, continuous areas of the neck
- Scaling, flushing or flaking off of skin cells
- Itchy red bumps on the skin around the neck
- A neck rash that comes with allergies and shortness of breath, wheezing, or a swollen face, throat or mouth (anaphylactic reaction).
- Dry and itchy skin rash around the neck, chin and behind ears
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Sore throat
What Causes Rash on Neck?
Rash on the neck has several causes. But we shall talk about a few of the causes here. So, when you have rash on neck, it is likely to be caused by any one or more of the following: medications, allergies, diseases, cosmetics, etc.
Some medications cause rashes. This is usually as a result of allergic reaction to the drug, photosensitivity to some constituents of the drug, or a side effect of the medication.
The rashes develop on areas of the neck that comes into a direct contact with a foreign substance capable of causing allergies. This will usually result in a rash, which can be red, inflamed or itchy. Most times, contact dermatitis is caused by touching poisonous plants (like poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak), contact with chemicals in elastic, beauty products, laundry detergent, and soaps.
Eczema popularly known as atopic dermatitis is a kind of rash that occurs mostly in people who have allergies or asthma. Most times, the rash can be itchy or reddish with a scaly texture. Allergic eczema can easily be triggered off by perfumes, latex, adhesives, clothing dyes, irritants from hair dye, nickel which you can get from jewelry, metal buttons on jeans, and belt buckles, etc.
Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease condition that causes rashes to develop on different parts of the body, including the neck. Juvenile arthritis attacks children and causes a lot of changes to take place in their bodies and joints.
Impetigo is a contagious bacterial disease which leads to an itchy, crusty rash with sores filled with yellow fluid. It is usually distributed around the neck, face and hands.
Measles is a viral, droplet disease of the respiratory tract which manifests with widespread itchy rashes with red bumps. This can be found on the neck, face, trunk and other parts of the body.
This occurs as a result of excessive ambient temperature. It is very common during the summer or dry season when environmental temperature keeps rising high. It is mostly found on the neck, arms and back, with intense itching and burning sensation.
Ringworm otherwise known as Dermatophytosis is a fungal infection that affects the skin. Ringworm infection starts with red patches on the affected areas of skin. It then gradually spreads to other parts of the body with time. It affects the neck, scalp, groin, feet, beard, etc.
This viral infection otherwise known as herpes zoster is caused by Varicella-Zoster. The same virus is also responsible for chickenpox infection. The infection causes a red rash with severe pain and burning sensation. Herpes zoster (shingles) usually presents with a stripe of blisters on one side of the body – mostly on the neck, face or torso. Sometimes, a woman can develop shingles during pregnancy if she has not been previously vaccinated against the disease and she gets in contact with a sufferer.
Scabies is caused by a tiny mite referred to as sarcoptes scabiei, which can live on your skin for up to 2 months. They usually reproduce on your skin surface before burrowing into the skin where they lay their eggs. Scabies comes with an itchy rash that looks like pimples. In babies and toddlers, scabies mostly affects the neck, head, soles of the feet, hands and face. Crusted scabies causes a rash that is not itchy, but leads to other symptoms like widespread crust on the skin which are gray, thick and easily crumble when touched. It is common in people with a weakened immune system.
Chickenpox otherwise known as Varicella is a contagious viral disease of the skin. It presents with itchy, red blisters on all parts of the body, including the neck. This disease is no longer common now as a result of the use of the chickenpox vaccine.
The second stage of untreated syphilis infection presents with generalized skin rashes, including rashes on the neck. This is usually not itchy rash, more common on the soles and palms. You may also have swollen lymph glands, headaches, fatigue, aching joints, fever, hair loss, and weight loss. The symptoms usually disappear with or without treatment.
These red-brown to black ants are quite aggressive and their sting can be quite painful, with burning sensation. They sting when their colony or nest is disturbed. You will usually receive a sting on any part of the body that is exposed, including the neck.
HIV is a viral infection that leads to a weakening of the body’s immune system thereby allowing a lot of diseases to affect the body. The acute HIV infection comes with skin rash in several parts of the body including the neck, and behind ears, fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, loss of appetite, sore throat, fatigue, night sweats, swollen glands, and ulcers in the esophagus, mouth, or genitals. Sometimes, people infected with the virus may not present with any symptoms.
Neck cancer can present with rashes on the neck. Other symptoms include long lasting sore throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness of the voice, sore or lump in the mouth that refuses to heal, etc. Tobacco smokers and alcoholics are usually at a higher risk of getting neck cancer.
Treatment for Rashes on Neck
The treatment of rash on neck depends on the cause of the rash. However, here are some of the treatments you can apply to some specific neck rashes.
This is effective in the treatment of secondary syphilis. Treatment can help to eliminate the bacteria but the complication caused by the infection may not go away. People who are allergic to penicillin can be placed on other forms of antibiotics like ceftriaxone, doxycycline, or azithromycin.
If you have contact dermatitis, the use of antihistamine drugs like diphenhydramine can be of help in reducing the symptoms such as itching and allergic response. Most of the reaction would go away even without taking any drug. However, if the rash spreads close to your mouth or eyes, refuses to improve with treatment, or if the rash spreads to a large area of your body, you should see the doctor.
Treat Tick bites with antibiotics
This is necessary to prevent tick-borne disease or to prevent secondary infection as a result of scratching the skin or laceration of the skin. If the tick was attached to your skin for a long time, you should see the doctor for proper management.
Apply steroids to fire ant sting
Wash the affected part with soap and water. Cover the part with a bandage and apply an icepack to lessen the pain. You can apply over-the-counter steroids to help relieve the pain and the itch. Usually, the pain goes off in about a week. If you develop allergy symptoms like difficulty breathing or swallowing, or if you have dizziness, you need to see the doctor immediately.
Treat scabies with topical creams/lotions
If your neck rash is caused by scabies, you can treat it with 25% benzyl benzoate lotion, 5% permethrin cream, 1% lindane lotion, 10% sulfur ointment, or 10% crotamiton cream. The medicine should be applied from the neck down and washed off the following morning. If symptoms persist, you should see a doctor who may prescribe other medications like antihistamines, antibiotics, or oral tablets of ivermectin.
Wash off the allergen
Is the neck rash caused by allergic eczema? Then wash the skin with plenty of water to get rid of the allergen. Mild and asymptomatic allergen would not need extra treatment. You may only need to use a moisturizing cream to rehydrate the skin and repair the damage. If there is itching, you need to get over-the-counter corticosteroid to lessen the itch and inflammation. If symptoms do not abate, see the doctor who may prescribe other medications for you.
Treat ringworm with over-the-counter drugs
You can easily get over-the-counter drugs like clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF), tolnaftate (Tinactin), miconazole (Micatin), or terbinafine (Lamisil). You can as well use other topical powders, creams or ointments to manage the ringworm infection. But if the ringworm covers a large portion of your body or if it fails to respond to the topical medications, then you need to see the doctor.
Treat drug allergy
If the rash on the neck is as a result of drug allergy, make sure to treat the allergy accordingly. This can be handled with antihistamines, corticosteroid, epinephrine, bronchodilators, etc. However, any allergy reaction that looks severe should better be handled by the doctor.
Treat measles according to symptoms
Measles is best treated according to the presenting signs and symptoms. Oftentimes, the symptoms of this viral disease go away within a space of two to three weeks. Nevertheless, your doctor may prescribe the following: Vitamin A supplements to boost immunity, Acetaminophen (for the relief of muscle aches and fever), plenty of fluid (up to eight glasses per day), rest (to strengthen your immune system), and humidifier (to help lessen the cough and sore throat).
Treat chickenpox symptomatically
Symptoms of chickenpox will usually resolve on their own accord. You need to be kept away from the workplace, school or other places where you are likely to be in touch with a large number of people in order to curtail the spread of the virus. But you can reduce the itching by wearing soft clothing with lightweight, taking lukewarm baths, and application of unscented lotion.
Reduce symptoms of HIV infection
HIV/AIDS has no known cure for now. But there are a lot of things you can do to strengthen your immune system including eating healthy, balanced diets, keeping yourself away from stress or stressful situations, doing regular exercises, and staying away from people with infections. You also need to see the doctor who will tell you what to do.
Manage Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis with NSAIDs
Rheumatoid arthritis is not curable, but it can be managed with medications like Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen (to reduce swelling and pains). Other things you can do for yourself include eating balanced diets, regularly exercises, and going for physical therapy. Surgery may be required in severe cases.
Treat impetigo with antibiotics
The doctor will usually prescribe some oral or topical antibiotics for this condition. Always ensure that you finish the antibiotics regimen, as not completing it could lead to drug resistance and relapse of symptoms. But at home, you can do a few things like soaking the skin in soapy water to reduce the scabbing and hasten the healing process. Apply a non-stick dressing on the skin to minimize the spread of the disease.
Manage shingles according to symptoms
Shingles has no known cure. But you can manage the disease according to symptoms. The doctor may need to prescribe certain medications like anti-viral drugs (such as acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir), anti-inflammatory drugs (such as naproxen and ibuprofen), an antihistamine like diphenyl, and narcotic medications or analgesics.
See the doctor for cancer treatment
Cancer should not ideally be treated at home. You need to see the doctor fast so that investigations can be done and immediately commence the right treatment. The earlier you commence cancer treatment the better result you get.
Several home remedies that you can use for your neck rash are available.
Use Chamomile oil
This is helpful in reducing the inflammation, relieving pain, helping to promote the healing process, and providing a soothing effect to the skin. It has anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to bring about the aforementioned benefits. Add two drops of chamomile in two teaspoons of coconut oil or any other carrier oil. Apply the mixture to the neck 2 to 3 times daily until the rashes are fully taken care of.
Coriander has soothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant and antiseptic properties. That makes it highly useful in relieving the itch, pain, and irritation associated with some forms of neck rashes. Drink a cup of fresh coriander juice once a day for 2 – 3 days. Add a teaspoon of coriander seeds to a cup of water and boil. Drink the tea once a day for up to three days until the rash disappears. Alternatively, grind coriander leaves and paste on the neck area containing the rash. Leave it for up to 30 minutes before you rinse it off with clean water. Repeat it twice daily for 2 – 3 days.
Make use of Aloe Vera gel
Aloe Vera gel is quite helpful in relieving pain and itching resulting from heat rash. You can apply the extracted Aloe Vera directly on the rashes. Aloe Vera lotion is another good alternative you can use. Apply the lotion to the neck and leave it for at least 20 minutes. Wash off with clean water thereafter. Repeat this up to three times daily until the rash clears off.
Baking soda helps in clearing neck rash fast. After having your bath, apply the soda lightly over the rash. Another alternative is to add two teaspoons of baking soda to your bath water before using it to bathe. It helps in reducing itching as well as clearing off the redness of the rash on neck.
Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help in relieving irritation and inflammation resulting from rashes caused by allergies, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, and chickenpox. Add about 1 cup of ground oatmeal powder or less in your bath tub and then take a dip in the tub for up to 20 minutes.
Cut fresh cucumber into slices and apply them to the neck with rashes. Let it stay for some minutes before you remove them. Repeat it two times daily. It will help soothe the pain and itching from neck rash.
Treat with honey
Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and will usually help in minimizing the swelling and control any superficial infection on the neck rash. Apply a little honey on the areas of the neck containing the rash and leave it for some minutes.
Ice cubes provide excellent relief for heat rash. Add some ice cubes in a piece of cloth or bag and apply it over the rash. Leave it for a few minutes and repeat for few times daily. It will relieve the irritation from the rash.
When to see the doctor
Usually, there are a lot you can do at home to ease your neck rash. However, you need to see the doctor when the home remedies fail, rash on neck getting bigger, you develop allergic symptoms like difficulty breathing or swallowing, the rash is spreading fast to other parts of the body, pain or itching gets worse, or you think that a further medical/laboratory evaluation is needed.
Rash on neck can be a source of stress and worries. It can be caused by different factors. You need to understand the cause before deciding on the type of treatment to take. However, if you have successfully read this post up to this point, it means you have seen a lot of our recommendations. Just follow those recommendations and your rash on neck will be taken care of in no distant time.