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Do you suffer from the itchy neck that makes it impossible to focus on your daily activities? Then, you need to read this article to know the different factors leading to the annoying and frustrating problem. Itching sensation in your neck can occur with or without the presence of a rash. The mild to extremely irritation condition can have simple to serious underlying causes. You need to take some steps to handle the problem. The condition can also cause pain, warmth or redness in the region. In some cases, you can see swelling on your neck. The underlying causes can range from an allergic reaction to coming in contact with irritants. You can handle the mild causes of the problem at home with simple steps. So, placing a cold wrap or applying a cream can soothe the itching sensation.
When the itching sensation fails to fade with the home remedies, then you need to see a doctor. Some serious condition can also cause the itching problem. Therefore, you can handle the problem effectively with medical assistance. The condition can indicate the presence of cancerous cells in your body. At times, it is the first sign of cancer. So, when you experience the problem along with other symptoms, see your doctor. Itching in the neck is associated with liver cancer, Leukemia, gallbladder cancer, and lymphomas. Read ahead to know the potential causes, diagnosis, and treatment options for the condition.
What Do You Mean By Itchy Neck?
When you feel an irritating and uncomfortable sensation in your neck, it makes you want to scratch the region. Itchy neck refers to the annoying sensation. It can become worse when you have dry skin. The condition is common among older people due to skin dryness. As you become older, your skin starts to lose its moisture leading to dryness. The underlying causes of the problem can result in a change in skin appearance. So, your neck can appear red, bumpy or rough. The repeated scratching of the skin can lead to skin becoming irritated. It can cause raised thick areas of the skin, leading to bleeding or skin infection.
Symptoms Of Itchy Neck
When you feel the itching sensation, you can observe additional signs in the region. So, along with itchy neck, you can see one or more signs like:
- Rash, spots, blisters or bumps
- Dry skin
In most cases, itchy neck occurs due to simple problems. Therefore, you can adopt some home remedies to deal with the issue. It responds well to remedies at home or OTC medications. But, you need to see a doctor when you have a serious issue. So, make an appointment with the medical professional when you observe the following:
- You feel no change in your situation as the itching can fail to respond to self-care
- The itching lasting more than ten days
- Severe itching that can affect your sleep habits and your daily routines
- Itching spreading to other areas of your body
The above-mentioned factor indicates the presence of a serious health problem that needs medical attention. Apart from the signs mentioned above, you need to consult a doctor as soon as you see the signs like:
- Sore throat
- Joint stiffness
- Shortness of breath
The symptoms can point towards some serious health complications that needs immediate medical assistance. It is only possible with the proper diagnosis. So, you need to see a doctor to detect the problem and undergo treatment.
Causes Of Itchy Neck
Several underlying problems can result in itching sensation in your neck. It can range from mild to serious. The main causes leading to the problem are:
Poor hygiene can lead to the itchy neck. Not washing your neck can lead to accumulation of dirt. So, washing it too little can cause an itching sensation. Washing too much also leads to itching. It strips the moisture content in the neck triggering dryness.
Coming in contact with irritant can trigger irritation in your skin. It leads to itchiness. So, when you come in contact with the following, you can experience the following:
- Clothes that irritate, like polyester or wool
- Chemical from soap or detergents
Your body’s immune system can cause adverse reactions to the body when you
- Eat certain food items
- Metals like Nickel (Nickel Allergy) come in contact with skin
- Chemicals touch your skin
- Use certain cosmetics
- Insect bites
- Touch plants like poison oak or poison ivy
You can work or live in an environment that exposes you to toxins. In such cases, it can lead to complications like itching in the neck. So, when you work with small particles like wood fiber or chemical can increase your chance of irritation and other problems.
The climatic conditions can play a big part in triggering itching of the skin in the neck region. So, when you live in a very hot or too cold environment, it can lead to severe irritation. In some cases, overexposure to the sun can cause itching or even sun poisoning rash. The exposure to ultraviolet radiation can result in the condition.
Chronic Skin Conditions
When you already suffer from chronic skin conditions, it can cause an itching sensation in your neck. So, people with the following skin conditions need to maintain caution:
Lichen simplex chronicus is another skin condition that can trigger itching sensation in your neck. It is the localized issue that occurs on normal skin of people with the above-mentioned skin condition. It develops due to repeated itching, rubbing or scratching of the skin. The actions can cause a well-circumscribed area of skin with a thick texture.
Nerve damage can trigger problems. The problems with the nervous system can result in peripheral nerve damage. The condition can lead to problems in the signals from the nerve. So, you can feel itching. Unfortunately, itching caused by nerve disorder does not ease with scratching. The health problems causing the problem are:
- Multiple sclerosis
Some other issues can also lead to the itchy neck. The underlying health condition resulting in the problem are:
Diagnosis Of Itchy Skin
Since the itching of the skin can occur due to some serious underlying condition, you need to consult a doctor. It is important to eliminate the possibility of serious problems that can trigger life-altering complications. So, your doctor can perform the following diagnostic techniques to detect the underlying cause of itching:
Your doctor can perform a careful physical assessment of your neck to see what causes the issue. It can help the doctor detect any rashes or other problems. The doctor also asks about your medical history to know if you suffer from any skin problems or other medical conditions that can cause the issue. Based on the assessment, your doctor can suggest other tests.
A sample of your blood is tested in the laboratory for several issues leading to itching. It is tested for any internal conditions causing the problem. So, your doctor can suggest the following tests:
- Blood Sugar Levels: the high blood sugar levels can lead to the itchy neck. So, your doctor can detect the presence of diabetes using the test.
- Complete Blood Count: CBC is the test that can detect the various blood cells. The complete blood count (CBC) can detect deficiency of iron, which can cause itching. It helps detect hematocrit levels that can detect an iron deficiency or anemia. It can also detect certain types of cancer.
- Thyroid Test: To detect the thyroxine levels that indicate thyroid abnormalities like hyperthyroidism.
- Liver Function Test: To check the working of the liver. It can detect the function of the liver and check for any abnormalities that can lead to liver pain and other issues.
Imaging tests like x-ray, CT scan or MRI can detect enlarged lymph nodes or cancerous growth that can result in the itching of skin.
Treatment For Itchy Neck
In most cases, the condition can resolve with some home remedies. You may suffer from itching due to simple reasons. But, you need medical help with the serious underlying cause. The treatment depends on the problem causing it.
Home Remedies For Itchy Neck
It is the first line of treatment for easing itching sensation in your neck. You can try one or more methods to get relief. Depending on the cause of the problem, the remedies can offer you relief. The itch responds to the simple treatments suggested below:
You need to avoid touching the region in your neck affected by the problem. Scratching or poking it can only bring temporary relief. But, it causes more irritation, making the itch worse as time passes.
Soak In Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal can ease skin problems to an extent. So, you can soak in an oatmeal bath to ease the itching sensation. Applying a paste of oatmeal and water on the neck can also reduce the itching sensation.
Adding baking soda in the water you take bath can also offer relief. But, you need to ensure using baking soda does not irritate the skin. Some people can show signs of irritation when they use baking soda due to the sensitive nature of the skin. Therefore, check for signs of irritation.
Use Cold Wraps
Wrapping the neck with a cold towel can offer relief from itching. Since placing an ice pack directly on the skin can irritate your skin, it is important to wrap it in a towel before placing on the skin. The cooling sensation can reduce the itch.
If you suffer from itching due to an allergic reaction, then you can take antihistamines. Over-the-counter antihistamines are available without a prescription. It can reduce the allergic reaction you suffer. It is effective for getting a night of good sleep. People finding it difficult to sleep properly due to persistent itching on the neck can use antihistamines to find relief.
You can get over-the-counter itch creams. It has corticosteroid as an active ingredient. So, it can effectively get rid of the itching sensation in your neck.
You can also buy other ointments in the market that contain cooling or calming agents. It can help relieve the itch you suffer on the neck. So, look for ointments containing the following ingredients:
But, you need to try the creams or lotions containing the ingredients on a small part of your skin before using it. Several studies suggest that the ingredients can make your skin dry and cause more irritation. So, try to test it on a small of itchy skin first before applying it on anywhere else.
Use Lukewarm Water For Bathing
Taking hot showers can strip the moisture content from the skin. So, you can experience skin dryness, which can result in irritation and itching. Try to take bath in lukewarm water, it can prevent your skin from drying out. You can reduce irritation and itching by following the method.
People who are prone to itching due to drying of skin must buy a humidifier. You can use it at home or at work. It keeps your skin moist and prevents itching.
Avoid Chemical Contact
If some chemicals cause irritation and itching, then try to avoid it. In some cases, the use of shampoos or soap can cause itchy neck. The chemicals and fragrances used in such product can trigger the itching sensation. So, you can opt for gentle products that contain hypoallergenic products. The products containing mild ingredients can clear the itch.
Wear Natural Clothing
Opt for natural fibers like cotton, jute or linen. When you wear loose-fitting, natural clothing, it improves air circulation. So, you can reduce the itching sensation. Synthetic clothing can irritate your skin. It can result in itching. Try to use clothes of natural fiber to prevent such problems.
Stress may not cause itching. But, it can worsen the existing itch. Therefore, if you have itching in your neck, then try to reduce your stress. You can adopt some relaxation techniques to ease the negative emotion. It can help ease the itch.
Medical Remedies For Itchy Neck
If the home remedies provide you no relief, then see a doctor. The doctor can prescribe strong treatments to ease the problem. In some cases, a severe health problem can cause itching. So, your doctor diagnoses the exact problem causing the itching. It helps develop an apt treatment plan for alleviating the issue.
When the OTC versions of topical medication fail to show, your doctor can suggest stronger versions of the same. So, prescriptions antihistamines or corticosteroids can alleviate the itching sensation. Doctors recommend using medications when other methods or medicines fail to work effectively.
Some chronic skin condition can trigger itchy neck. In such cases, you need regular treatment to reduce the irritation and itching sensation. Phototherapy is among the popular option to manage the condition. Also known as light therapy, it reduces the itching sensation. So, you will feel the urge to scratch the itch reduce. The therapy involves exposing the skin to fluorescent light bulbs or other light sources. Other sources of light like sunlight, halogen lights or LEDs (light-emitting diodes) can treat certain medical conditions triggering the itch.
You can suffer from some severe conditions causing the persistent itch. So, your doctor can suggest the following medication based on the underlying reason:
- Thyroid medication to treat imbalance in the thyroid hormone levels
- Cancer treatment to eliminate malignant cells present in the body
- Medications to treat liver problems
- Prescription medications to treat kidney problems
- Immunosuppressant or antidepressant
So, based on the severity and the signs you experience, your doctor can suggest the best treatment option that will offer good results.
Preventing Itchy Neck
It is possible to prevent itchy neck caused due to some mild problems. You can reduce the risk associated with the problem by following some steps. Therefore, the preventive steps you can adopt are:
Maintaining good hygiene can prevent the itching in your neck. Bathe regularly to clean the dirt accumulation in your neck and other areas of your body.
If dry skin causes the itching sensation, then you can use moisturizers to protect the skin. It lubricates the skin and prevents the skin from getting brittle. So, it reduces the itching sensation.
Follow Prescription Medications
If you have an underlying health condition that triggers itching, then see your doctor. The doctor can suggest prescription medications. You need to make sure to take the medications as suggested by your doctor. It is essential to manage the underlying health concern to alleviate the itching.
Cut Nails Short
People tend to scratch their skin and cause wounds. The nails can cause the breaking of skin, which can lead to infection. Therefore, you need to cut fingernails short. It can help prevent the damage while you scratch the itch.
Some people tend to scratch their neck during sleep. In such cases, the risk of damaging the skin in the neck region is high. So, to prevent unconscious scratching, you need to wear gloves. It avoids any damage to the skin due to scratching while sleeping.
Visit A Doctor
People facing chronic conditions triggering the itch need to consult their doctor. It is important to maintain caution to prevent further damage caused by persistent scratching.
Several different problems can lead to an itchy neck. Therefore, you need to take steps to manage the condition. Simple home remedies can help treat mild cases of itching. You can use OTC products or natural treatments to get relief from itching. But, if you see other signs with itching or the problem does not go away after a few days, then consult a doctor. It can indicate the presence of something serious. So, you need to seek medical assistance for a full diagnosis and medical treatment. Seeing a specialist doctor like a dermatologist can help detect the actual cause of the problem and suitable treatment. People suffering from severe or persistent symptoms of itching need to seek professional assistance to deal with the problem.View Article Sources