Symptoms of Eczema on the Neck and How to Treat It

Medically Reviewed By Bukky Aremu, APRN
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Eczema can affect any part of the body, including the neck. Primary symptoms include dryness, itchiness, and irritation. It is possible to treat eczema on the neck with topical and oral medications. This article looks at the symptoms and causes of eczema on the neck. It will also discuss treatment options, how doctors diagnose eczema, when to contact a doctor, and more.

What are the symptoms of eczema on the neck?

Closeup of a woman applying cream to her neck.
Eddie Pearson/Stocksy United

“Eczema” is a term that refers to a group of skin conditions that cause dryness and itchiness. It can form on any part of the body, including the head and neck.

Symptoms of neck eczema can depend on the type of eczema. The National Eczema Association lists some of the main types of eczema as follows:

Other symptoms of eczema on the neck can include:

  • dryness, crusting, and cracking
  • itchiness
  • thickening of the skin
  • skin sensitivity
  • redness and blistering
  • oozing or weeping skin
  • inflamed or swollen skin
  • scaliness and roughness

According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), eczema symptoms can become less noticeable in some seasons and very severe in others.

Make an appointment with your dermatologist if you have bothersome symptoms of eczema.

What are the treatments for eczema on the neck?

Eczema treatment focuses on managing skin dryness and reducing flare-ups. 

Your dermatologist will typically recommend moisturizers for skin dryness and topical corticosteroids for inflammation.

They may also recommend: 

  • oral antihistamines to reduce severe itchiness and itch-related sleep problems 
  • steroid-free products such as pimecrolimus and tacrolimus to reduce flare-ups
  • phototherapy or light therapy to clear patches of eczema with lights

Your doctor may also recommend various home remedies to help you recover faster from eczema. These can include:

  • avoiding harsh fragrances and skin care products 
  • identifying and avoiding other potential triggers
  • avoiding scratching your skin 
  • keeping your nails short to avoid damaging your skin 
  • avoiding rough or non-breathable fabrics

Learn about treatments and strategies for managing advanced eczema.

What causes eczema on the neck?

Eczema on the neck results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 

Experts have identified the Malassezia species, a type of fungus naturally occurring on the skin, as one of the potential causes. 

Other causative factors might include:

  • skin barrier problems that result in easy skin drying 
  • autoimmune activity, which is when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in the body 
  • exposure to allergens and harsh fragrances 

If you are unsure of what’s causing your eczema, your doctor can help you identify the cause or triggers. It’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis, as the type of treatment can depend on the underlying cause.

Learn about common eczema triggers.

When should I see a doctor?

Contact your doctor as soon as you have concerns about eczema symptoms

Consider visiting a doctor or dermatologist if you’ve been treating eczema with home remedies for some time and have not seen improvement.

If you have symptoms of infection, such as a fever, seek immediate treatment.

Our eczema appointment guide can help you prepare for your appointment.

How do doctors diagnose eczema on the neck?

Dermatologists diagnose eczema on the neck by examining your skin. They may also ask questions about your medical history and symptoms.

They may also order tests to help confirm the diagnosis and rule out possible causes. Allergy testing, such as patch tests, can help identify an allergen or irritant that’s responsible for your symptoms.

Skin biopsy, which involves removing a sample of the affected skin for microscopic analysis, can help with identifying the cause.

What are the risk factors for eczema on the neck?

Many factors can raise your risk of developing eczema on the neck.

Possible risk factors include:

This is not an exhaustive list of factors that may increase your risk of eczema on the neck. It’s important to contact your doctor if you have concerns about the risk of eczema.

Are there any possible complications of eczema on the neck?

Severe eczema on the neck may disrupt sleep and trigger an itch-scratch cycle in some people. An itch-scratch cycle is when scratching your skin causes more itchiness.

Untreated eczema may also cause complications, such as:

  • bacterial infection
  • Kaposi varicelliform eruption, which is when a skin infection spreads throughout an organ or the body
  • urticaria, which is a raised, itchy skin rash

Receiving an accurate diagnosis and beginning treatment for eczema as early as possibly can help reduce your risk of complications.

Can I prevent eczema on the neck?

There are many things you can do to help reduce your risk of eczema on the neck, including:

  • using mild, fragrance-free cosmetics
  • avoiding rapid temperature changes
  • moisturizing your skin after bathing
  • using a humidifier to help reduce dryness in your room
  • avoiding rough or non-breathable fabrics

Contact your doctor for more advice on ways to help prevent eczema on the neck.


Eczema on the neck can cause dryness, itchiness, and irritation. Your dermatologist can diagnose the condition with a physical exam. They may also order an allergy test or skin biopsy.

Treatments include moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, and antihistamines. It’s important that you seek medical care if you have severe or persistent symptoms of eczema on the neck.

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Medical Reviewer: Bukky Aremu, APRN
Last Review Date: 2023 Feb 23
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