Itchy Rash on Back of Neck and Leg Causes and Treatments

When there is a noticeable change in skin texture and color, a rash is said to have occurred. This may take the appearance of a bumpy or scaly and irritated skin. The causes for an itchy are numerous. Worse is when this kind of condition affects hard to reach places such as getting an itchy rash on back. Also embarrassing is an itchy rash on back of leg or neck. We explore the causes and ways through which you can get rid of the itchy rash.

Itchy Rash on Back Causes

An itchy rash on back consists of bumps and a sensation that makes you want to scratch which is isolated to the back. The causes for this are varied and range from simple reactions to serious medical conditions. These are discussed in details below.

Contact Dermatitis (Allergic Reactions)

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition resulting from allergic reactions resulting in irritation of the skin that comes into contact with the allergen. The most common form of contact dermatitis is irritant dermatitis. When soaps and detergents used in washing clothes come into contact with the back. An itchy rash on back may result. Once the rash develops, it might process to peel as it heals.

Urticaria (Hives)

When the itchy rash on back consists of raised itchy bumps that are dark red, the cause could be hives. These are mostly caused by an allergic reaction but could also result from non-allergic causes such as extreme temperatures, friction, sunburns as well as severe exercises.

According to, 30-40 percent of people with chronic urticarial have the autoimmune system as the cause.

Urushiol Oil

A majority of people are allergic to urushiol oil which is an oil present in poison ivy, oak and sumac plants. When the back skin comes into contact with the roots, stems or leaves of the plant, an itchy rash riddled with blistering results.

The oil can stick on anything and remain active for up to five years. When the skin gets in touch with the oil it penetrates the skin causing a reaction. The parts of the body with soft tissues are most vulnerable to the sap.

Miliaria (Heat Rash)

Commonly referred to as prickly heat, heat rash can cause intense itch accompanied by a rash. This results to the body’s exposure to excessive heat. An itchy rash on the back that is surrounded by red skin and which gives a stinging sensation is likely to be a heat rash. It mostly affects heavily clothed parts of the body such as the neck, abdomen, chest, armpits and groins in addition to the back.

It is most common in kids and active people. When severe, heat rash on the back and other parts of the body can cause heat exhaustion and fever.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This is a common skin condition that mostly affects the areas of the skin that are rich in sebum glands. It is therefore common on the scalp, eyebrows as well as the trunk. Seborrheic dermatitis can be increased by a change in season, illness, stress and fatigue. The condition is attributed to the proliferation of Malassezia yeast which lives on the skin.

When it comes to an itchy rash on the back that is as a result of this form of dermatitis, the affected site becomes red. The upper back is most susceptible and where severe a thick yellowish scaling may occur.


This chronic diseases occurs when the immune system signals the body to speed up skin cells growth cycle. As a result, the skin suffers red scaly patches known as psoriatic plaques. Although most common on areas that have joints, psoriasis can affect any part of the body the back included.

Back Acne

Back acne, also referred to as bacne, consists of pimple breakouts on the back that take the pink color. It mostly results from having clogged pores. This is caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells, sebums and bacteria. The acne may be itchy if severe.

Red Itchy Bumps on Back

Experiencing red itchy bumps on the back is an indication of skin irritation. This is bound to happen to anyone at a given point in life. Depending on the cause, this kind of rash should go away with time. According to, the seven most common causes of red itchy bumps on back are:

  • Allergic reactions to products meant for personal care such as laundry detergent, hair and skin care products and back hair removal.
  • Rubbing from fabrics can be irritating for persons with sensitive skin.
  • Bug bites which could occur anywhere on the skin. Most people tend to be allergic to their venom and may develop a red itchy rash on back once bitten.
  • Heat rash is known to cause red itchy bumps that give the sufferer a prickly sensation.
  • Sun poisoning can occur in persons who have an allergy to the sun. This will result in an extremely itchy red rash commonly referred to as hell’s itch. This is different from sun burns and does not happen to everyone.

Rash on Back of Legs

A bumpy rash on back of legs is common and may appear even in toddlers. Itchy rash on back of legs is mostly as a result of different types of dermatitis.

One form of dermatitis that is prevalent in children is atopic dermatitis. It affects the areas around the feet, behind the knees as well as around the ankles. Contact dermatitis occurs when the back of the legs come into contact with an irritant resulting in a red rash.

itchy rash on back of leg

Itchy rash on back of leg in toddler

There also are some infections that could cause rashes on the skin. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that causes hot painful swellings. Folliculitis affects the hair follicles mostly after waxing or shaving. The rashes that result could be itchy or non-itchy.

Treatment for these depends on the cause but some general practices can help prevent some of the rashes. Always keep the back of your legs well moisturized and use non-perfumed cleansers. Do not subject your legs to direct heat especially in the car. Where the rash is itchy, topical steroids can help soothe them. Use oral antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.

Itchy Rash on Back of Neck

Hair care products tend to affect the back and the neck. This is because while undertaking hair care procedures the water used is likely to drip down making contact with the skin on the back and neck. This results in allergic reactions if products used contain ingredients the skin is sensitive to. In most cases, hair dye, conditioner and shampoos with paraphenylenediamine(PPD) are to blame.

Itchy Rash on Back Treatment

The treatment of any itchy rash on back is determined by a number of factors. First, the general condition of the patient has to be considered especially in children. Another concern should be if the rash is localized or appears on the whole body. Where the rash and itch do not seem severe, there are some general home treatments that can be used. These are as discussed below.

1.      Topical Treatments

For an itchy rash on back that is as a result of an infection, use topical anti-bacterial and antiseptic creams. Where these do not seem to better the symptoms soon enough and the rash seems to spread, see a doctor.

2.      Antihistamines

Antihistamines such as Benadryl for itch helps in relieving the rash. These are available in different forms and are most appropriate for an itchy rash resulting from allergic reactions. They are available as ointments, creams as well as oral medication. Most oral antihistamines have a drowsy effect and should therefore be used before going to bed.

3.      Hydrocortisone Cream

A one percent hydrocortisone cream is perfect for treating rash resulting from chicken pox and infections. It can be a perfect way to soothe the itch especially if it is only localized to the back skin.

Home Remedies for Itchy Rash on Back

In addition to the above products, here are itchy rash on back home remedies that can help soothe the affected skin.

4.      Aloe Vera Gel

One of the greatest cures for skin rashes, aloe las a lot of medicinal properties that make it effective. It works on the inflammation and helps heal the rashes. Get fresh aloe juice and apply it on your back. Allow it to dry before washing it off.

5.      Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E oil helps speed up the skin’s healing process. Simply cut open a vitamin E oil capsule and apply it on the itchy back rash. Use twice on your back until the itchy rash on back is gone.

6.      Oatmeal

Oatmeal is known for its ability to soothe itchy skin. In addition, it will help alleviate the back rash. Using it is easy as all that is required is to soak in an oatmeal bath. One cup of ground oatmeal into a bath tub and soak in it for 20 minutes. This will not only help in getting rid of the back itch but also prevent the rash from spreading.

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