Neck pain

Why do I have red blotchy skin on the neck?

Fact Checked

The development of red blotchy skin on the neck typically indicates a form of skin rash. Even though skin rashes are not always serious, proper diagnosis is required to rule out any conditions and start the suitable treatment. It is vital to note whether or not the red blotchiness are accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, fever or flu-like symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

The blotchy skin can manifest in any part of the body including the neck and can appear as flattened red blotches or elevated skin patches. It is important to note that the rash can be itchy or sore and can even blister. In some cases, it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, fever, cough or body aches.

Possible causes of blotchy skin

There are various reasons why the individual has red blotchy skin on the neck. The doctor might assess the rash and other accompanying symptoms to come up with a diagnosis.

The reddened blotches might indicate skin rashes that are simply annoying. A non-serious rash can be due to an allergic reaction, reaction to chemicals in chlorinated pools or exposure to excessive heat or rays of the sun.

The blotchy skin might be due to health conditions such as ringworm, measles, atopic dermatitis or psoriasis. In some circumstances, the blotchiness can indicate an outbreak of hives or urticaria. This condition is due to the inflamed skin and triggered by reactions to medications, foods or other allergens including insect bites. In addition, physical factors can also trigger hives such as heat, cold, exercise, sunlight and stress.

Red blotchy skin
In case the blotchy skin on the neck originates from a health condition such as measles, the doctor might recommend measures to control the pain.

Medical treatment

In case the blotchy skin on the neck originates from a health condition such as measles, the doctor might recommend measures to control the pain. Aspirin should not be given to children with measles due to the possibility of Reye’s syndrome which is a serious and fatal disease.

Other skin conditions such as psoriasis, ringworm or atopic dermatitis might require the use of topical medicated creams or ointments. In some circumstances, antibiotics are also needed.

Antihistamines are also used to manage hives. Depending on the severity of the hives, the individual might be able to use over-the-counter variants. The doctor might recommend the prescription-strength antihistamine or an oral corticosteroid to minimize the swelling and itchiness of the hives if they are severe.


There are treatment options that can be done at home to make the blotchy rash more comfortable, but it is best to consult a doctor to avoid any possible complications.

Ibuprofen can be given to manage the pain linked with the red blotchy skin while anti-itch creams are available over-the-counter to reduce the itchiness. When showering or bathing, it is best to use lukewarm water and non-irritating soaps. The irritation can be reduced by avoiding any perfumes and clothing that can rub on the skin.

The application of moist and cool compresses can help minimize the swelling and itchiness of the affected area. Taking a cool bath in a tub that contains colloidal oatmeal or baking soda can also alleviate the itchiness.

Even though most cases of skin rashes are not serious, the exact cause is not known until a doctor is consulted. There are some forms of skin rashes due to certain health conditions that can result to other health issues if not promptly treated.

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