Eczema on the neck and nape of the neck

The neck and nape of the neck are areas that can be affected by eczema, even though they are often overlooked.



The neck and nape of the neck areas

The neck is like a set of skin folds and is therefore one of the areas particularly affected by eczema in childhood. In adulthood, neck eczema is part of a specific form of atopic dermatitis called "Head and Neck Dermatitis".

Neck dermatitis is rarely isolated, it is often associated with other forms of eczema: facial eczema, scalp eczema, eczem a on the ears, etc.

The causes of eczema of the neck and nape of the neck

Neck eczema usually equates to atopic dermatitis of the neck, but other causes are possible:

  • Contact eczema: in case of contact allergy to nickel (a metal that is very common in the environment, metal objects, food, etc.), wearing a fancy necklace quickly leads to the appearance of red plaques on the neck. Similarly, in case of contact allergy to a component of nail polish, the simple fact of touching your neck can trigger an eczema flare-up.
  • Irritation is an important factor to consider in neck eczema: woolen scarves, labels, overly tight collars, perspiration, shampoo running down the neck when rinsing, etc. All of these can promote the appearance of red plaques on the neck. Choose cotton or fleece scarves, cut off labels, undo one or two buttons on your shirt and tilt your head back when washing your hair.
  • Many patients report a link between their neck eczema and stress. While it is true that stress can make eczema worse, it is often one of several causes.

The neck is a very easy area to scratch. In cases of neck eczema or eczema of the nape of the neck, it is sometimes difficult to resist the urge to scratch, but scratching will only aggravate the lesions.

What is the best treatment for neck eczema?

The treatment for neck eczema is the same as for the rest of the body; cortisone cream is sometimes replaced by a topical immunosuppressive type of anti-inflammatory ointment because the skin on the neck is thin and fragile like the skin on the face. And don't forget to moisturize the neck with an emollient!

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