What causes skin spots on the neck

skin rash

Rash: causes and possible diseases

Skin rashes can have very different causes. For example, infections such as chickenpox or measles, allergies and various skin diseases such as psoriasis or neurodermatitis can be behind it.

Infectious diseases

The Three-day fever (Exanthema subitum) is a contagious disease caused by viruses. In addition to the high fever, a fine, red, itchy rash develops on the chest, stomach and back. It can spread to the arms and legs, but disappears after a few days.

Scarlet fever (Scarlatina) is a typical childhood disease caused by an infection with bacteria (streptococci). The rash caused by the toxins of the bacteria is typical, among other things. It begins with small redness in the folds of the armpits, on the chest and in the groin region and spreads over the whole body. Typically, only a small triangle between the chin and mouth as well as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet remain free of rashes. In some patients, the rash is absent or weak. After about a week, or after three at the latest, the rash disappears completely.

measles is another childhood illness caused by viruses. It is highly contagious and is spreading rapidly. A rash is also characteristic of measles. Red, irregular spots appear behind the ears and on the side of the neck, which soon merge and cover the whole body. Minor skin bleeding may occur. The rash will go away after about five days.

rubella are caused by a virus infection. The rash starts here behind the ears with small bright red or slightly brownish spots. They spread to the face, neck, arms, legs, and then the entire body. Unlike measles, however, they do not fuse. Itchy rash is also rarely seen with rubella. The rash will go away after one to three days.

Ringlet rubella (Erythema infectiosum) is an infectious disease caused by the parvovirus B19. The butterfly-shaped rash is characteristic here, but it does not develop in all sufferers. The rash first forms on the face (cheeks, bridge of the nose) and after a few days spreads to the arms, legs (especially the extensor sides) and finally the entire body. The exanthem looks like a garland and can vary in strength. The rash can recur within seven weeks.

The Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by type A Coxsackie viruses. A red, itchy rash with blisters and nodules forms on the skin (hands, feet), which later turns into white-gray pustules. Blisters and small, painful ulcers (aphthae) develop in the mouth.

At the Pfeiffer's glandular fever a rash can sometimes develop. However, this can also develop if the disease is treated with antibiotics, for example with ampicillin or amoxicillin. One then speaks of one Drug eruption.

The Lyme disease is an infectious disease that is usually transmitted by ticks. Lyme borreliosis is triggered by helical bacteria, so-called Borrelia. After a few days, a red spot can appear around the puncture site, which gradually enlarges and is usually pale in color in the middle. Doctors refer to this as "wandering redness" or erythema migrans.

chickenpox (Varicella) are highly contagious Varicella zoster virus caused. They start with an itchy, red rash - usually on the torso and face. It spreads over the entire body, including the hairy part of the head as well as arms and legs.

The mucous membranes (mouth, conjunctiva, genitals) can also be affected. The red spots turn into fluid-filled, severely itchy blisters that gradually crust over. The rash runs in episodes, so that new red spots are added to the already existing skin vesicles and crusts every day. A so-called "starry sky" forms: a colorful picture of spots, papules, vesicles and crusts that eventually fall off. The vesicles turn into small ones on the mucous membranes Aphthous ulcers (= Damage).

Shingles (Herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus. Shingles is a secondary disease: the first time the herpes virus causes chickenpox, it persists in the body after the disease has subsided and can still become active after years: in the form of shingles. The typical rash consists of blisters on a swollen, reddened surface.

The rash usually runs in a belt-shaped manner on the torso and extends, for example, from the back towards the sternum. But it can also cause a rash on the face and ears. After two to seven days, the blisters burst, creating small wounds that are gradually covered with scabs. After two to three weeks, the scab usually falls off.

Genital herpes(Genital herpes) is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). An itchy rash with redness and blisters forms on the skin in the genital area. If they occur in the area of ​​the lips, one speaks of cold sores. In some cases, HSVs cause a painful rash in the mouth (mouth rot / aphthous stomatitis).

Skin fungus (Thrush) includes all diseases caused by fungi of the genus "Candida". The main representative is Candida albicans. The rash occurs particularly in folds of the skin (e.g. armpits, anal region, thighs), on the lining of the mouth and throat, in the esophagus and in the genital region (in the form of vaginal or penile fungus).

The Sore rose (Erysipelas) is a localized, acute inflammation of the lymphatic vessels of the skin. A wound rose is usually caused by certain bacteria (streptococci). The bright red rose forms around the entry point of the bacteria into the skin.

The Lichen (Ringworm, impetigo contagiosa) is a bacterial skin infection that is very contagious. The main causes are staphylococci, more rarely streptococci. Typical of the rash are asymmetrical, sharply demarcated, golden-yellow, red-lined crusts that mainly appear around the mouth and nose as well as on the hands.

scabies (Scabies) is caused by mites that cause a very itchy rash.

syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. In the second stage of syphilis, a rash usually occurs. Initially, there are only pale pink spots that turn into coarse, copper-colored nodules (papules).

One caused by viruses Inflammation of the liver (Hepatitis) is sometimes accompanied by a rash.

Typhus (Typhoid lice) is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia prowazekii, which is transmitted by clothes lice. A blotchy rash forms after a few days, which begins on the trunk and quickly spreads to the arms and legs - but the head, neck, palms and feet remain without rash.

typhus is a serious diarrhea caused by bacteria (salmonella). Here, too, pinhead-sized, reddish spots can form on the stomach, chest and back, but they are not itchy.

Also at Dengue fever A red chill-like, itchy rash may appear temporarily. The cause of this tropical disease is the dengue virus.


An allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction to certain substances that are normally completely harmless. The immune system fights these harmless substances and thus triggers an allergy. Examples are pollen (hay fever), but also food or chemical substances such as nickel or cobalt. Reddened skin and itchy rashes are common signs of an allergic reaction from the Immediate type. This means that the allergy begins a few seconds to minutes after contact with the allergy trigger (medical allergen).

At a Late-type allergy Itchy redness and swellings that are sharply delimited only develop after a few hours. Depending on the severity, water bubbles, weeping areas, flakes and skin crusts appear.

The allergenic substances can have a direct external effect on the skin (such as UV radiation, cold). However, they can also have an irritating effect on the skin from the inside by inhaling them or ingesting them with food. This is the case, for example, with hay fever and food allergies such as nut allergies. Medicines can also cause a rash and other allergic symptoms.

Another typical form of late-type allergy is Contact allergy (Contact dermatitis). It occurs when the skin comes into contact with the allergy-causing object or material. Often these are fragrances or metals such as nickel. Even the smallest amounts are often enough to cause an allergic reaction. The skin then itches, swells, wets or reddens. The skin rash (eczema) usually forms on the area that was in contact with the allergy trigger (contact eczema). In particular, allergies to fragrances are on the rise. The symptoms: rough, reddened or flaky skin and itching. If the allergen has a longer effect on the skin, blisters, nodules and painful tears can develop.

The Hives (Nettle rash, urticaria) is also one of the allergic diseases. The rash here consists of red bumps. They look like mosquito bites or after coming into contact with nettles (hence hives).

Patients with hives are hypersensitive to certain internal (food such as strawberries) or external stimuli (cold, pressure). You suffer from severe itching. Most of the time, both the wheals and itching will go away within a day.

sunlight can also cause severe allergic skin reactions. There is excruciating itching, blisters or wheals (sun allergy). This is often done in combination with cosmetics such as skin and sun cream or perfume. The Polymorphic photodermatosis (PLD) is the most common of all sun allergies. It mainly occurs on areas of the skin that are not yet used to the sun, such as the décolleté, shoulders, neck, and extensor sides of the arms and legs. The PLD usually manifests itself with wheals, itchy spots or blisters.

In the Mallorca acne Aggressive substances that are formed by UV light react with ingredients in sunscreen and personal care products or the body's own sebum. An inflammatory reaction develops in the hair follicles. This leads to acne-like pimples on the skin - mostly in the cleavage.

In combination with medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, diuretics, or St. John's wort, sunlight can cause a photoallergic reaction trigger.

Sunburn is also one of the rashes.

Skin diseases

A rash can also be due to various skin diseases that are not contagious. Examples:

acne is a hormone-related disease that mainly depends on the male sex hormones (androgens). It often occurs during puberty. The white nodules, which sometimes also have a black point in the middle (blackheads, comedo), are typical. If the nodules become inflamed, a pimple with a pus plug develops.

The Head gneiss (seborrheic eczema) is a harmless skin rash. It is caused by an overproduction of the sebum glands in the hairy scalp.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis, atopic eczema) leads to recurring skin inflammation with itching. The skin is extremely dry. In babies, atopic dermatitis manifests itself as a red, itchy rash, especially on the face. The eczema spreads on the neck over the torso and towards the diaper area. The backs of the arms and legs are also affected. In older children and adults, eczema can appear all over the body. Very often the face - especially around the eyes and mouth - as well as the crooks of the arms and the hollows of the knees are affected. But the upper part of the upper body and the neck can also be affected. The skin is dry, blotchy, reddish and thickened.

Cradle cap in babies can be the precursor to eczema or a sign of an allergic disposition.

psoriasis (Psoriasis) is a chronic inflammatory and recurring skin disease in which large amounts of flakes form on the skin. The rash is noticeable as sharply demarcated, reddish and slightly raised spots. These are covered with silvery-white scales. The spots can be small and punctiform, but they can also cover larger areas. Some of them can also be itchy. The superficial scales can be easily scraped off, while the deeper ones sit more firmly on a young, thin layer of skin. If you also remove this cuticle, small, punctiform skin bleeding occurs.

The Nodular lichen (Lichen planus) is a rare skin disease in which itchy, reddish nodules form, usually on the inside of the wrist and ankles, and lower legs. Presumably an autoimmune reaction is responsible.

In the Rose lichen (Pityriasis rosea) an itchy rash forms that can extend from the torso to the upper arms and thighs.

Rosacea (Copper fin, acne rosacea) is an inflammation of the skin of the face that is chronic and progressive. The disease can be different. Depending on the severity, a persistent reddening with noticeably enlarged veins (couperose) appears on the face. Later, a skin rash with nodules and pus vesicles may appear.

Other causes of exanthema

A rash can be a too Side effect of medication be. Medicines that can trigger rashes are primarily antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs - for example ASA, diclofenac, ibuprofen), cortisone or certain drugs for high blood pressure, gout, cancer and diabetes.

Also herbal remedies can cause a rash: For example, coriander oil can cause allergic reactions. The same goes for St. John's wort products in combination with sunlight, as it can increase photosensitivity.

Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease. A typical symptom is the butterfly-shaped rash on the left and right of the nose (butterfly erythema).

Also the psyche plays a role in skin rashes, it is not for nothing that it is popularly said: "The skin is the mirror of the soul". For example, stress and psychological distress can trigger or worsen a rash.

If no cause for the rash can be found, doctors speak of an "idiopathic rash".

Diseases with this symptom

Find out here about the diseases that can cause the symptom: