Itchy Neck

Causes of an Itchy Neck

There are many different problems that can cause an itchy neck.  The first thing you should do before you treat it is look for the cause.  Some causes do not require any treatment. 

Start by examining your neck for any visual marks or bites around the itchy area. 


Sunburn can cause an itchy neck, so it could be the culprit if the area is red and you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun. 

Insect Bites

Insect bites can also cause an itchy neck, so you should look carefully for any bites.  Most insect bites look like a raised red bump. 

If the bite is especially itchy, you can use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for relief. 



Another common cause of an itchy neck is acne. Look for pimples or other signs of skin breakout.  There are plenty of medications for severe acne problems if this is the source of the problem.


You should also examine your neck closely and look for signs of a rash.  A rash can indicate allergies or other diseases. 

One common cause of itchy neck that comes with a rash is shingles.  Shingles is basically adult chicken pox, and it typically affects one side of the body or the other.  If you’re itching on one side of your neck, but not the other and you have a rash, there’s a good chance you have shingles. 

A sure sign of shingles is a painful rash that itches and blisters.  Other symptoms like a headache or aches and pains may also appear before the shingles rash does.

Other Medical Causes Of An Itchy Neck

Another important thing to take into consideration when you’re looking for the cause of an itchy neck is whether or not other parts of your skin are itching frequently.  If you itch elsewhere on your body, you could have liver disease, jaundice, or kidney disease. 

You should see a doctor if you notice severe itching everywhere that cannot be explained by a rash or other cause.


An itchy neck can also be caused by food allergies or allergies to medications. 

These allergies may also be accompanied by a rash, so look for a rash near the area that’s itching.  If you have severe itchy neck problems and suspect that a food allergy may be the cause, you should start eliminating foods from your diet one at a time. 

It’s hard to pinpoint a food allergy if you eliminate too many things at once, so start with one thing and see if your itching improves after you stop eating it. 

If that doesn’t work, eliminate another food, and just keep going until you determine what’s causing the allergy.



A common cause of an itchy neck is an allergy to hair dye or cosmetics.  If you dyed your hair recently, it’s quite possible you have an allergy to the coloring. 

Also, think about whether you’re using any new cosmetics.  Lotions can trigger allergies too, so any changes in your usual cosmetic routine can cause you to have an itchy neck.