Itchy neck is called pruritus in medical terms and this gives you an irritating sensation to scratch the neck very often. There may be reddening of the skin in the neck along with swelling and irritation. The skin may become sore and start flaking when it is getting irritated intensely. Scratching the skin often will not give relief from irritation but it may worsen the situation causing more scarring and discomfort.
Number of factors cause itchy neck. It can be due to insect bite from bee or other insects, infection or due to allergic reaction. Some medical condition like chicken pox can also cause reddening of the skin with itching. Eczema is another skin allergy that causes itchy neck. It can also occur due to dandruff or head lice and scabies.
Chronic problems in kidney can also induce itching sensation in the neck. Obstructive bile disease which may cause block in the bile ducts can cause this condition.
Normal type of itchy neck will get settled on its own after some time. But if itching continues with other symptoms like fever, breathlessness, vomiting or nausea then you have to seek emergency medical treatment, since it can be a symptom of serious problem like anaphylaxis or any other serious allergy.
Itchy neck can be the outcome of increased stress and autoimmune disorders. Some cosmetics like dye or detergents can trigger this reaction. Even wearing metallic jewelry can cause irritation due to allergy. Food allergy can induce itchy neck on some people.
Candidasis, chicken pox and eczema are some of the infectious diseases that cause itchy neck.
Other causes of itchy neck are certain medications, psoriasis and extreme cold or hot weather.
Generally the neck portion will be itchy and it can cause mild discomfort to the person. For some people there can be other local symptoms like redness of the skin, warmth, swelling, skin rashes, flaking of skin and pain.
When itchy neck is due to some serious medical issues, then the person may get fever, chills, runny nose, breathlessness, stiffness in joints and profuse sweating.
Very rarely there may be serious itching along with fever and shortness of breath. If it is caused by serious allergy then there may be excessive swelling of the skin with tightness on the throat and difficulty in breathing. You should not delay in visiting the hospital if you have any of such serious symptoms.
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For mild to moderate itch, you can try some home remedies. Get yourself immersed in a tub of cold water to get some relief from itching. Apply topical ointments like hydrocortisone to control inflammation. You can take antihistamines obtained over the counter which reduces the itch considerably.
Try using the paste of water with baking soda on the itchy area to manage itching. Take oatmeal bath and immerse in the tub containing warm water with little salt.
Wipe the affected area with olive oil and apply some moisturizing cream. You can use Aloe Vera for getting instant relief from itching.