Oh, the agony and irritation of itching!
We've all been there. Itchy skin on its own can be bothersome. But there's a special kind of torment when skin itch at night rears its head just as we are drifting off. That late-night scratch-fest is known as nocturnal pruritus. Or, for those of us not fluent in medicalese, nighttime itching. In this article, we'll delve into the itchy world of nocturnal pruritus. And we'll figure out why it seems to get itchier when we're trying to catch those much-needed z's.
We'll do our best to keep it interesting. Though if you find the subject boring, perhaps reading this can help you get to sleep!
Overview of the Symptoms and Causes That Make Your Skin Itch at Night
But fear not, dear itchy reader, there are options to help soothe your restless skin! Before diving into medical treatments, however, we want to make sure our knowledge is on point. So we turn to academic research institutions and peer-reviewed studies. This helps us to ensure we provide accurate and reliable information for our readers.
One study found that doxepin, a sedative, may help nocturnal pruritus by helping you sleep! For those preferring more natural treatments, colloidal oatmeal could be for you. This soothing ingredient can be found in many over-the-counter medications. It works wonders on itchy and inflamed skin when dissolved in a bath of cool or lukewarm water. It's the perfect nighttime relaxation ritual before bed.
Always remember to consult with your healthcare professional before starting any medical treatments. This goes for making any dietary changes as well; even if those treatments are labeled as natural. In some cases, skin itch at night may be a sign of a more serious condition, chronic pruritus. Linked to certain cancers or certain hormones, it can play havoc with your body. Your healthcare professional can help confirm the ailment and suggest appropriate treatments.
Now that we've got the top level stuff out of the way, let's get into the nitty gritty.
What are the causes of itchy skin at night?
It’s a simple question with a potentially complicated answer that's hard to diagnose. Let’s break down some of the more common terminology. How does it relate to potential reasons for itchy skin at night, and what's causing your itch?
If you’re experiencing more itchiness at night, it may be due to a condition known as nocturnal pruritus. It is also known as nocturnal itch or nighttime itch.
The definition of the condition is when itching occurs only at night or worsens at night. Many people with this condition may also have a daytime itch, but notice itching more at night.
Nocturnal pruritus is a fairly common condition. It's caused by a number of factors, including lifestyle factors.
Why does my skin itch worse at night? Circadian rhythm and itch triggers
Treatment to soothe your skin
Common causes of nighttime itching
- Dry Skin
- Insect Bites
- Stress or Anxiety
- Scratching in and of itself
- A symptom of an underlying condition
Scratching itself can lead to itching
Itching is often worse at night because we’re not distracted from it, as we are during the day. When you scratch an itch, you can break the skin barrier. This can allow moisture to escape and bacteria to enter. This can lead to even more itching and irritation, and possibly a skin infection.
This restarts the itch-scratch cycle. This is why it's so important to try not to scratch.
When to see a doctor
Less itching, more snoozing: home remedies for nighttime itching
- Using a humidifier in your bedroom
- Avoiding hot showers or baths, and opting to bathe in lukewarm water at night instead
- Gentle cleansing with an unscented soap
- Wearing loose-fitting, cotton clothing
- Avoiding scratching
- Using a cool compress
- Use of a moisturizer before bedtime
The secret weapon in the fight against nocturnal pruritus
All of the above are great steps to take in your path to itch free slumber. But sometimes it’s less about the journey more like “beam me up, Scotty; I want to get there NOW!”
If you want fast-acting relief from itchy skin at night, you want Dermeleve®.
At some point in our lives, most of us will experience the misery of itchy skin. And for some unlucky folks, that itchiness will be relentless, coming and going without regard to the time of day—or night.
Use a humidifier to keep the air moist.
Wear loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers.
Applying a soothing lotion before bedtime.
Q: What are the possible causes of itchy skin at night?
A: There are several possible causes of itchy skin at night, including changes in body temperature, hormonal changes, skin irritation, infestation, and health conditions that are active at night.
Q: Can inflammation cause itchy skin at night?
A: Yes, inflammation can contribute to nighttime itching. Inflammation in the skin can cause itchy sensations, making it harder to fall asleep.
Q: What are some home remedies for itchy skin at night?
A: Applying cool compresses, taking a lukewarm bath, and avoiding skin irritants or allergens can help relieve itchy skin at night. However, if the itching persists, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider.
Q: Are there any medical treatments for itchy skin at night?
A: Yes, there are several medical treatments for itchy skin at night, including topical creams, antihistamines, and medications that have a sedative effect to help with sleep. Dermeleve® is a safe and effective topical treatment that provides fast relief from itchy skin.
Q: What are some health conditions that may cause itchy skin at night?
A: Health conditions that are active at night, such as eczema, psoriasis, and scabies, can cause itchy skin at night. It is important to talk to your provider if you suspect you have one of these conditions. They have been trained to know about itchy skin conditions and how to identify them.
Q: Can taking a lukewarm bath before bed help with itchy skin at night?
A: Yes, taking a lukewarm bath can help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin, which can lead to less itching at night.
Q: Are there any serious health conditions that may cause itchy skin at night?
A: Yes, in rare cases, itchy skin at night may be a symptom of a more serious health condition, such as liver disease or kidney failure. If you have concerns about your symptoms, it is important to visit a healthcare provider.
Q: Why am I more prone to feeling itchy at night?
A: The body's natural sleep cycle can cause changes in body temperature and cytokine production, making the skin more prone to itchiness at night. Additionally, there may be fewer distractions at night, allowing the sensation of itchiness to be more noticeable.
Q: Can certain foods or environmental factors contribute to nighttime itching?
A: Yes, certain foods, environmental allergens, and irritants can contribute to nighttime itching. It is important to identify and avoid these triggers if possible.