Neck Rash

What Is It?

A neck rash is an inflammatory response of the skin covering the neck, which includes the front of the neck between the head and the chest and the nape of the neck just below the hairline in the back.

Neck rashes vary significantly in look, location and intensity depending upon the underlying cause. Neck rashes can be red, white, purple or silver in color, and raised, bumpy or flat in texture. They can look like dots or spots or happen in a big, continuous area. Neck rashes can likewise consist of flushing and scaling or flaking off of skin cells. Neck rashes are frequently due to acne, dermatitis, mild allergies, and inflammatory conditions. The majority of neck rashes do not cause any long-term harm and they normally disappear by themselves or by following the treatment plan outlined by your health care service provider. However, some rashes may be triggered by a major underlying transmittable disease, such as meningitis, or an allergic reaction accompanied by hives and anaphylaxis.

A rash of purple spots (petechiae) that accompanies a fever can suggest a severe, possibly deadly condition, such as bacterial meningitis. A neck rash that is connected with allergies integrated with shortness of breath, wheezing, or swelling of the face, mouth or throat is also a symptom of a severe, potentially life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. Seek instant treatment (call 911) if you, or somebody you are with, have any of these symptoms.


A neck rash can take place in seclusion or with other symptoms, which differ depending upon the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Other symptoms can impact the skin, gastrointestinal tract, breathing system, nerve system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, or body immune system. For example, you may have a fever and other flu-like symptoms if the rash is due to infection or swelling.

Skin symptoms that might take place together with a neck rash.

A neck rash might occur with other symptoms impacting the skin including:

  • Bleeding (from damaged skin).
  • Blistering.
  • Burning.
  • Split skin.
  • Dry skin.
  • Itching.
  • Inflammation, inflammation or swelling.
  • Scaling or peeling skin.
  • Swelling or puffiness around the rash.

Other Symptoms That Might Take Place in Addition to a Neck Rash

A neck rash may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:

Symptoms that may indicate a serious or lethal condition.

Sometimes, a neck rash may accompany other symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition that must be immediately assessed in an emergency setting. Look for immediate treatment (call 911) if you, or somebody you are with, have these symptoms:


Neck rashes can be brought on by a wide array of diseases and conditions, such as infection, inflammation, allergy, and autoimmune processes. A sudden or intense neck rash may be because of an allergic reaction or level of sensitivity to a specific compound, such as precious jewelry, food or medication. A chronic or long-term neck rash might be brought on by such conditions as an inflammatory disorder.

In all age, more serious causes of a neck rash consist of a severe allergy with anaphylaxis (tightening up of the respiratory tracts), bacterial meningitis, and cellulitis, which is an invasive skin infection that can be triggered by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria.

Contagious Causes of Neck Rashes

A neck rash can be brought on by an infection including:

  • Bacterial infection.
  • Chickenpox (viral infection).
  • Folliculitis (inflammation or infection of a hair roots).
  • Fungal infection of the skin (also called ringworm).
  • Herpes virus infection.
  • Impetigo (bacterial skin infection).
  • Measles (viral infection).
  • Shingles (viral infection).

Allergic Causes of Neck Rashes

A neck rash can be caused by an allergic reaction consisting of:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis such as from wearing jewelry containing nickel.
  • Drug reaction.
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis) including chronic eczema.
  • Food allergy.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis such as from a detergent.

Other Causes of Neck Rashes

A neck rash can also accompany the following conditions:

  • Acne.
  • Stress and anxiety or stress.
  • Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis, which can impact the face and neck along with the scalp).
  • Heat (heat rash).
  • Methamphetamine abuse.

Lethal Causes of Neck Rashes

Sometimes, a neck rash might accompany a major or dangerous condition that ought to be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Severe or lethal conditions consist of:

  • Allergic purpura (autoimmune bleeding disorder).
  • Erythema multiforme (kind of allergic reaction).
  • Meningitis (triggered by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis).
  • Severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis.
  • Hazardous epidermal necrolysis (skin and mucosal loss due to a severe medication reaction).


To detect the underlying reason for a neck rash, your doctor or certified healthcare professional will ask you several concerns associated with your symptoms. Providing complete answers to these concerns will assist your supplier in diagnosing the cause of a neck rash:

  • Explain the rash. Where is it? What does the rash appear like?
  • Did the rash establish unexpectedly or gradually? Is it consistent or intermittent?
  • Is the rash spreading to other areas?
  • Does the rash occur with any particular activity, such as eating?
  • When did the rash first appear?
  • Have you had the rash prior to?
  • Do you have other symptoms?
  • Have you remained in recent contact with any uncommon substances or environments, such as exposure to chemicals or uncommon plants, taking new medications or supplements, or traveling to a foreign country?


Complications of a neck rash differ depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Identifying and treating the underlying cause of a neck rash is important to reduce potential complications, such as intro of disease-causing bacteria or fungi into the skin. This can take place if there is severe itching and scratching that causes breakdown of the skin. Following the treatment plan you and your healthcare provider develop specifically for you will reduce the risk of complications consisting of:

  • Bacterial or fungal infection of the skin.
  • Cellulitis.
  • Open sores and sores.
  • Permanent modification in skin texture.
  • Permanent skin staining.
  • Scarring.

Last modified: January 31, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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