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Why is My Kid’s Neck Red?

Why is my child's neck red?

Parents get worried when their children’s skin gets red, itchy, bumpy, or otherwise irritated. Luckily, the majority of red rashes on kids’ necks aren’t a big deal and are easy to treat. Always double-check with your pediatrician.

If you are searching for answers about why is my kid’s neck red. Then you have come to the right place. We have listed some of the most common causes for it.

Is It Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle Cap)?

Seborrheic dermatitis is, most simply, a severe case of dandruff. This inflammatory skin condition is characterized by 

  • Flaking
  • Itching  
  • Redness
  • Irritated skin
  • Inflammation
  • Scaly patches
  • Thick yellow flakes

It usually appears on the head, eyebrows, nose, and neck folds, but it can pop up near any oil-producing gland on the body.

When it appears in babies and children it is known as “cradle cap”. Seborrheic dermatitis is very common in babies. Cradle cap is caused by the overgrowth of a yeast, Malassezia, naturally present on the skin. Learn more about cradle cap on babies here.

Luckily, it generally resolves itself within 6 to 12 months. However, there are ways you can speed up recovery and ease symptoms.

Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle Cap)

  • Wash your little one’s head every day with a medicated shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis. 
  • Before rinsing the shampoo off your baby’s scalp, loosen the flakes by massaging their head and neck with your fingertips, a cradle cap brush, or a washcloth. 
  • The medicated shampoo can be used daily until the seborrheic dermatitis rash clears up. 
  • Then reduce use and repeat the process every two to three days to help prevent a future build-up.

Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash is specially made for children of all ages. It is made without fragrances, parabens, dyes, and other irritating ingredients and features active ingredients Zinc Pyrithione, it is gentle enough for young sensitive skin but tough enough to help loosen and clear away scales.

Eczema Rashes on Neck

Eczema is incredibly common in both children and adults alike, making it a likely suspect for your kid’s red neck rash.

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes 

  • Dry skin 
  • Redness 
  • Intense itching
  • Rough patches of skin 
  • Inflammation
  • Small bumps and blisters
  • Scaly rashes

to pop up on the cheeks, inside of joints, neck, wrists, and behind the ears. The most common type of eczema experienced by children is Atopic Dermatitis.

While eczema isn’t particularly dangerous, it can be very uncomfortable as extreme itchiness can prevent children from getting enough sleep.

Eczema Treatment

There is no established cure for eczema, but there are many ways to effectively soothe symptoms and reduce eczema flare-ups. The two most important methods of soothing eczema are gentle 


  • Give your child a daily bath in warm, not hot, water. 
  • Cleanse their skin with a non-soap eczema body wash free from harsh, irritating ingredients. like Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash
  • No matter which product you select, make sure it’s made without dyes, fragrances, parabens, or sulfates to hydrate and soothe skin.


  • After bath time, apply a baby eczema cream to lock in moisture throughout the day.
  • You should apply a moisturizing cream, or ointment at least twice a day to maximize hydration for relief eczema symptoms.
  • If the skin is becoming dry more often you can increase the frequency of use of the eczema cream.

If you are searching for a soothing eczema cream for your child, try Happy Cappy Moisturizing Cream for Eczema. It is specially formulated for dry, sensitive, eczema-prone skin in children. It is infused with natural ingredients like Licorice root extracts that help soothe the itching and irritation associated with eczema while hydrating the skin.

What Else Could It Be?

Though seborrheic dermatitis and eczema are the most likely culprits for the red rash on your kid’s neck, there are a few other potential causes, including:

Heat Rash 

Heat and sweat can cause a prickly, red, and itchy rash to pop up on kids’ heads, necks, and shoulders. It is also known as Miliaria or Prickly Heat or Heat Rash.

It is caused when the sweat gets trapped inside the skin. Red rashes and small bumps may appear on the skin that can be itchy and prickly when touched. 

Heat rash usually clears up on its own, but a few things you can do to soothe the rashes are

  • Keep your child cool.
  • Give them a bath in cool water.
  • Clothe them in loose-fitting clothes and breathable fabric.
  • If not improving it may require a trip to the doctor. A prescription steroid cream may be needed.

Contact Dermatitis 

Some children’s skin will react negatively when it comes in contact with certain foods, plants, soaps, or other products, leading to a mild red rash or small red bumps. This is also a type of eczema.

Some of the most common culprits for rash on your kid’s neck are

  • Poison ivy
  • Metal
  • Chemicals in baby skincare products
  • Saliva
  • Sweat 

You can soothe the symptoms of contact dermatitis and prevent future flare-ups by simply removing the irritant or allergen and keeping your child away from them. Try keeping your kid’s skin moisturized with a hypoallergenic moisturizing cream as much as possible.


Similarly, medicines, foods, environmental exposures, or other viral or bacterial infections can cause children to break out in pink, itchy welts called hives. The medical term for hives is urticaria. Hives can pop up anywhere on the body and can last for minutes or up to 24 hours and they come and go in different areas anywhere on the body. Antihistamines can soothe the hives, but if they don’t clear up on their own, be sure to see a doctor.


Rubella also known as German measles is caused by a virus. It causes a red or pink rash to appear on the baby’s body that usually starts from the face and neck. Other common symptoms associated with it are fever, lymph node swelling, and not feeling well.

The rash of rubella may last for about 3 days. This would be an extremely uncommon reason for a red neck as it is a vaccine that has been dramatically reduced with immunizations. This is the “R” in the MMR vaccine. 

Teething Rash

Teething rash is very common in babies when their teeth start to come in. It is caused by the excess drool or saliva that comes from the baby’s mouth during teething. This drool when comes in contact with the skin can lead to red, raised rashes on the face, neck, and chest.

Try keeping your baby’s skin clean and dry with a washcloth as much as possible to prevent teething rash. 

Yeast Infection

A yeast known as Candida is naturally present on the skin. When there is an overgrowth of this yeast on the skin can lead to red rashes appearing on the neck, armpits, groin, and anywhere where there are skinfolds. 

These rashes are also known as thrush. Sometimes this infection goes away on its own within a few days or weeks while, in some cases, it may need proper attention and treatment. The doctor may prescribe topical antifungal medications to treat it.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you are unsure about what might be causing those red rashes on your kid’s neck or if the rashes are not getting better after proper care then it is best to consult a doctor. They will be able to determine the cause for the rashes and provide you with a treatment plan.

If you notice any of the following symptoms immediately consult your kid’s pediatrician

  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Rash spreading to other parts of the body
  • Extreme discomfort.


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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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Can seborrheic dermatitis spread to the neck?

Seborrheic dermatitis usually appears on the scalp but can spread to the neck and ears depending on its severity. If you suspect your kid is experiencing seborrheic dermatitis on the neck, then it is best to consult a doctor as they diagnose it correctly.

Can eczema appear on the neck?

If your child has an itchy and red neck, then they may be experiencing eczema on the neck. It is also known as neck dermatitis. It can be managed by keeping the area clean with a mild, gentle shampoo and body wash, and afterwards moisturize the skin with an eczema cream.

How do you soothe a baby’s red neck rash?

The best way to eliminate neck rash is to avoid extreme temperatures and long hot baths, moisturize the skin, and avoid scratching. If the rash is severe, consult a doctor who may prescribe anti-itch cream or topical steroids.

How do you prevent a heat rash on the kid’s neck?

You can take a few steps to prevent heat rash in kids:
1 Avoid direct sun exposure.
2 Wear cotton clothing.
3 Take cool baths.
4 Keep the skin moisturized.
5 Drink lots of water and fluids.

Should I be worried about my kid’s red neck?

There are many reasons why your kid may be experiencing a red rash on the neck. It is essential to consult a doctor if you cannot identify why it is happening. This can help in providing proper treatment to the kid on time. And avoid any further complications.

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