Rash on the neck – causes, treatment

Rash on the neck

A rash on the neck can be caused by many different reasons. The changed skin areas not only affect the affected person visually, rashes also very often cause unpleasant itching or pain . Most skin rashes are harmless.

What is a rash on the neck?

A rash on the neck is an inflammatory reaction of the skin and is usually clearly visible as redness. The affected patients suffer from (severe) itching, and (burning) pain can also occur. The skin may feel tight or hot to the touch.

The appearance of the skin reddening can be very different. The affected areas can be pimply or completely flat, extensive or divided into individual areas. There may be discharge-filled blisters or pustules , or the rash may appear as wheals . While redness is common, affected areas can also have brownish or white patches.

In most cases, a rash on the neck is harmless and will go away without treatment. In rare cases, however, it can be a sign of a serious illness and should therefore be examined by a doctor.


The causes of a rash on the neck depend on the exact diagnosis. It can be caused by an allergic reaction, such as wearing jewelry made of certain metals, using incompatible cosmetic products, but it can also occur through the consumption of certain foods.

An infection-related rash on the neck, on the other hand, can be viral or bacterial. Here, herpes viruses , chickenpox , measles or folliculitis come into consideration. Once the infection with the pathogens has taken place, the characteristic rashes form.

Rashes can also occur in the presence of an autoimmune disease , as well as as a result of a prolonged inflammatory disease and in acne . Stress-related rashes can also occur. Skin rash can also be a sign of anaphylaxis , but then there are other serious side effects such as shortness of breath .

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

To diagnose a rash on the neck, a thorough medical history by the doctor is necessary. By asking a series of questions, he will clarify the clinical picture in detail.

The patient should therefore be able to answer these questions as precisely as possible and describe the exact course. It is important when the rash appeared and what preceded the reaction. Any potential trigger should be identified, such as eating certain foods or a new personal care product. Every little thing can be a crucial clue to the cause.

The doctor will then also examine the affected skin areas. Visual examination of the rash can often provide an accurate diagnosis as many of these particular diseases show very distinctive features on the skin. Measles, for example, can be clearly distinguished from chickenpox.

As a rule, a rash on the neck has no serious causes and disappears as quickly as it appeared.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for skin rashes


A rash on the neck can be very uncomfortable because not only is the appearance disturbed, it can also be itchy and painful. In most cases, the cause is rather harmless, but a doctor should still look at the redness or blisters. A rash on the neck usually presents as redness that can itch or burn, and sometimes the skin can feel hot. The rash can be very different, sometimes the redness is completely flat, but pimply spots can also appear. In most cases, a rash on the neck does not require treatment and will go away on its own. However, there can also be a disease behind it that only a doctor can diagnose.

Of course, an accurate diagnosis is important, but usually there is just an allergy behind it. For example, wearing nickel jewelry can be the trigger, or a jumper can simply be itchy. Cosmetic products can also cause a rash, and even food is often responsible for a rash on the neck. Childhood illnesses such as measles or chickenpox can also cause a rash on the neck, especially during the contagious phase.

In some cases, inflammation has not been treated and even stress can cause redness. A rash on the neck is usually not dangerous, but if side effects such as shortness of breath or fever appear, the doctor should be consulted immediately.

When should you go to the doctor?

There are numerous, mostly harmless causes for the development of a rash on the neck. The rash on the neck is often associated with itching or even pain. For this reason, as well as because of the optical impairment, those affected by a rash on the neck usually consult a doctor.

A rash on the neck is usually an inflammation of the skin, recognizable by reddening, tightness and overheating of the skin. Occasionally there are pimples, pustules, wheals or blisters. The most common causes of a rash on the neck are allergies to certain ingredients in cosmetics, to some types of metal in jewelry, and food allergies.

However, a rash on the neck can also be an expression of an infectious disease such as herpes, folliculitis, measles or chickenpox. Other causes include acne and autoimmune diseases. A clarifying preliminary talk with the family doctor is useful for a rash on the neck. Based on his analysis, he can refer his patient to a specialist such as a dermatologist , allergist , internist or paediatrician . In addition, the treating doctor can give his patient tips on skin care and explain how to deal with or avoid substances that cause the rash.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of a rash of course depends on its cause.

If the skin reaction was triggered by an allergy, the possible trigger should be identified and then become natural. Symptoms triggered by an allergic reaction usually disappear very quickly as soon as contact with the allergy trigger is no longer established.

It becomes more critical when an allergic reaction causes anaphylaxis. In addition to a rash, there are other, mostly severe symptoms such as circulatory failure , shortness of breath or swelling of the face. In such a case, immediate treatment by a doctor is necessary. In the best case, an emergency room should be visited so that the circulation is quickly stabilized again and further measures can be initiated.

If the doctor diagnoses acne as the cause of the rash, there are some drug therapies available that reduce the skin’s sebum production and thus prevent the occurrence of skin inflammation . In the case of viral rashes, antivirals can be administered to curb the multiplication of the virus.

Regardless of the cause, creams or (antibiotic) ointments can often relieve the symptoms of a rash on the neck. They soothe the itching and allow the inflammation to subside. Some of these preparations are available in pharmacies without a prescription.

Outlook & Forecast

A rash on the throat often occurs as a result of infections and allergic reactions or intolerance to certain foods. Once the responsible food has been cleared from the body, the rash on the throat will go away. In most cases, it does not lead to further complications and does not need to be treated by a doctor.

If the rash on the neck persists or causes uncomfortable feelings, a doctor can be consulted. Treatment is usually through medication or various creams designed to get rid of the rash on the neck. It is not uncommon for a rash on the neck to appear in connection with acne. In these cases it is a common symptom of puberty or the result of poor personal hygiene . The rash on the neck is always an uncomfortable situation for the patient and can lead to social problems.

If you have other symptoms in addition to the rash on your throat and you are generally unwell, you should go to a hospital. This can be a serious allergic reaction that needs immediate treatment.


Prevention of a rash on the neck is only possible if the trigger is known. Therefore, naturally incompatible foods should be avoided and irritating cosmetic products should be avoided. If jewelry on the skin is the trigger, the metals it contains should no longer come into contact with the skin.

Infectious diseases that can cause a throat rash are best prevented with good hygiene practices.

You can do that yourself

In the case of a rash on the neck, the symptoms can be alleviated by various home remedies and self-measures. If the rash only appears in one spot, it should first be checked whether the symptoms are due to an item of clothing such as a rubbing scarf or a shirt with an chafing collar. General measures such as avoiding abrasive or irritating substances and using antibacterial care products also help.

Regular showers with pH-neutral soap relieve itching , reduce redness and increase general well-being. In addition, care products without perfume and other irritants should be used so as not to further stress the already sensitive skin. Otherwise, creams and ointments with aloe vera relax the skin and cool the sensitive areas on the neck. Sunflower oil , coriander lotions or creams with sea salt are just as effective – applied to the itchy areas of the skin. Healing earth or lavender can also help alleviate the symptoms.

Depending on the cause, a change in eating habits is also recommended: greasy and heavy foods should be avoided, as well as alcohol and other stimulants. Those affected should also ensure sufficient rest and avoid stress as much as possible. Psychosomatic causes can at least be alleviated by changing one’s lifestyle.

Lisa Newlon
 | Website

Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.