Itchy skin keeping you awake? Allergies such as eczema are often worse at night, due to a combination of different factors. We ve put together this guide to help you learn more about the causes of eczema itching at night and, most importantly of all, how to get some relief and sleep better. Why does my skin itch at night? The most common cause of night-time itching is eczema. This condition causes the skin to become dry, red and itchy when it comes into contact with certain substances. While there are several different types of eczema, the most common is atopic eczema, where the skin irritation is triggered by allergens. It s important to note that many people with atopic eczema also have other allergy-related conditions, such as hay fever or asthma, although this isn t always the case. Why is eczema worse at night? There are several different factors that can increase the intensity of night-time itching. These include:
Leaving heating on, and sleeping under synthetic bedding can all contribute to make your body overheat while you sleep. This in turn further irritates already itchy eczema, making it worse and causing you to wake. While there are many different allergens that can cause eczema, from pet hair to pollen, one of the most common triggers is dust mites. If you frequently find your eczema symptoms are worse at night, then dust mite allergens may well be the cause. This is because most bedding provides the ideal environment for dust mites to thrive a warm, moist environment exposing you to increased allergens while you sleep. Children in particular can become more aware of their itchy skin at night, simply because they have less distractions to keep them occupied.
While eczema is often the cause of night-time itching, there are a number of other conditions that can trigger similar symptoms. These include short-term conditions such as sunburn, prickly heat and ringworm, as well as longer term conditions related to the kidneys, liver or thyroid. Both pregnancy and the menopause can also cause itching. If you have not already been diagnosed with eczema, you should speak with your GP about your night-time itching symptoms to rule out any other causes. Looking for ways to stop eczema itching at night? Here are a few tips to try: Avoid overheating at night by making a few changes to your bedroom. Some effective ways to keep cool while you sleep include:, and keep a window open (unless pollen is trigger for you) or a fan running to manage air temperature. Swap polyester sleepwear for cotton or silk alternatives that will help you stay cooler throughout the night. Replace synthetic bedding with hypoallergenic alternatives. Wool has been proven to be more effective at managing temperature and absorbing moisture than either polyester or feather/down fillings. Choose a wool-filled duvet, pillow and mattress topper to improve your temperature-regulation while you sleep. Learn more about the benefits of. Swap your memory foam mattress for a heat-regulating alternative. Natural fibres are more effective for keeping cool. A is ideal. It won t make your bedroom cooler, but it will help to quickly cool and soothe night-time itching if you do wake. If you think that dust mite allergens might the cause of your night time itching, there are several steps you can take to keep them out of your bedroom: Swap synthetic bedding for wool-filled alternatives, as dust mites can t live in the dry, cool environment created by a wool-filled duvet, mattress, pillows and protector.
Keep feather/down or synthetic-filled cushions out of the bedroom, or replace them with wool-filled versions If you have pets, it s also a good idea to keep them out of bedrooms at all times too. This will reduce the amount of pet hair that makes its way into your sleeping environment. If your eczema symptoms are getting worse, or if you suspect that you have eczema but have not been diagnosed, seek advice from your GP or nurse. They ll be able to offer advice on any further treatments or lifestyle changes you can try, as well as helping you to rule out any other causes of your skin condition. Looking for more information on tackling night-time allergies or other sleep problems? Discover tips in our Hub. Dear doctor; My body itches me whenever bedtime is approaching. Surprisingly, it does not happen in the morning when I wake up. What could be the cause. Moses Dear Moses, Has this problem just started or you have had it for long? Does it happen consistently or only during the dry season? Body itching at night could be due to multiple causes. Excess dryness of skin due to exposure to dust, cold weather, hormonal disorders or genetic factors can cause itching. It is possible that you are using some moisturizing cream or lotion during the day but not during the night. As the effect of the moisturizing agent clears, the skin becomes dry and itches at night. Bed bugs can also bite and cause itching in the night. If you have ants under your bedsheets or mattress, your body is bound to itch.
To avoid such a scenario, it is advisable to put your beddings in the sun for at least 2-3 days. If bedbugs are strongly suspected, a mild insecticide can be sprayed. Mosquito bites can as well cause itching and rashes, a problem which can be simply eliminated by using a mosquito net. Scabies is an infection caused by a parasite, which can spread from person to person through physical contact. The typical disease manifests as itching over the body, more in the night. In affluent families with good hygiene, children can occasionally bring this infection home from play mates. Diagnosis is simple and it is curable. Other parasitic infestations like ascaris or pin worm may cause itching more in the night. One can have itching at night due to allergy to something in the environment or a body care product used. Mosquito repellants, deodorants used while changing clothes can become a source of allergy. Itching in the night can be due to nylon night clothes or bed sheets as well. You need to review your routine for the night. If the skin is dry, it is advisable to use a suitable lubricating lotion before going to bed. Preferably this should be applied over damp skin after washing the face and limbs. Moisture is retained better over a damp skin. Also review the body care products you use at night. Suspending the use of products one at a time and then reusing it can help to identify a substance causing allergy and itching at night. Use of cotton bed clothes as well as night clothes keeps the body comfortable and avoids any allergy, thus minimizing risk of itching.