Night time body itching often occurs after a bath. Sometimes before or during bedtime. While we may be able to ignore it occasionally, sometimes it can get so intense that ignoring it will be a very difficult task. If not an impossible one. “What Causes skin itching at night?” You may be wondering. “How do you make it stop?”
In this article, we will discuss the common reasons your skin gets itchy mostly at night. Knowing that, you will be able to take some practical measures to prevent or stop it. Continue reading!
What You need To Know About Night Itching
Nighttime itching is a medical condition known as “nocturnal pruritus.” In most cases, one can easily sleep through the itchiness. In a few other cases, it can be so serious you will have a real hard time sleeping.
While scratching may seem to bring some relief, it doesn’t completely take away the itchy feeling. As a matter of fact, it can irritate your skin and leave you with feelings of pains all around the areas you scratched. The best way to treat the itchiness if it gets serious to that point is to seek for medical help as soon as possible .Your doctor my suggest to run some tests on you to be able to identify the root cause of the itching all over your body.
What Really Causes The Skin To Get So Itchy At Night?
Nocturnal pruritus or nighttime itching as it is popularly known, is caused by a whole lot of things. These things can be grouped into three main categories: natural causes, health-related causes and other causes.
Since the natural causes are the most common reasons our skin gets so itchy at night, we will start our explanations from there.
The Natural Causes Of Itchy Skin
Skin itchiness at night can be traced to a lot of natural causes, things that happen beyond our control. Things we don’t have complete control over how they occur in our body. Some of those things are outlined below.
The circadian rhythm is the body’s natural cycle that regulates the activities of hormones and chemicals. This is what regulates flow to the skin, sweating, skin temperature, etc.
During the night, each of these things can be increased or decreased by the circadian rhythm, leading to mild or serious itchiness in the skin.
Pregnancy often come with lots of changes in the body. These changes are as a result of the fluctuations in the level of the hormones responsible for pregnancy. Sometimes, these changes can lead to itchy skin in the night.
Menopause is another thing that can lead to itchy skin especially in older women. As a result of the changes in the level of oestrogen, menopausal women may often notice their skin feeling dry or itchy. Some may often feel like an insect is moving on or under their skin.
Health-related Causes Of Itchiness
In a few cases, the causes of nighttime itchiness can be health-related. The itching there can be a warning signal of something more serious going on in the body. Something that requires immediate medical attention.
Some of the medical conditions that can cause your skin to feel itchy at night includes:
- Anxiety or Depression: When people are seriously depressed, they may feel itchiness all over their body.
- Cancers: Cancers such as cancer of the skin, leukemia and lymphoma are known to cause itchiness all over the skin.
- Eczema: This medical condition is known to be major cause of skin itchiness.
- Fungal Infections in the skin: e.g ringworm, pin-worm and other infections
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Liver or kidney failure
- Overactive thyroid
- Any medical condition that affects the body’s nervous coordination: e.g. Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and Shingles.
Each of these conditions can trigger itchiness in the skin. Mostly during the night, when distractions aren’t much. Other causes of skin itchiness apart from the natural and health-related causes , are found below.
Other Common Causes Of Nighttime Itchiness
There are other causes of itchiness all over the body in the night. Some of them are:
- Allergic reactions to certain chemicals used in the production of soaps, body creams, fragrances, dyes etc.
- Bites from insects that are mostly active during the night. Examples: Bed bugs, Fleas, Flies or even lice.
- Certain types of drugs. Examples, antibodies, antifungals etc. These medications can trigger itchiness all over the body.
- Stress and nervous habits
- Dry skin
- Chicken pox etc.
How To Stop Itching At Night: Best Home Remedies
Does your skin feel itchy at night? Here’s a list of the best ways to stop it without going for medical treatments.
- Regularly take a bath using lukewarm water at night, especially before bedtime. It will help soothe your skin and help you sleep faster. This according to lots of people, works for them.
- Use only baking soda during the bath at night. Other alternatives include colloidal oatmeal and any other moisturizing and scent free soap.
- Add moisture into the air in the room you sleep before going to bed. How you do this is by turning on a Humidifier.
- Use ointments and body creams that contain aloevera and Vitamin E. Those two are known to help nurture and soothe the skin.
- Before bed, apply a cool wet compress to your skin.
- Getting your mind distracted from the itching. Part of the ways of doing this may include turning on the fan, watching a movie, meditations or any other thing that can help you fall asleep while distracting you from the itch.
How To Prevent Nighttime Itching
Nighttime itchiness, like every other health challenge out there can be prevented. Especially severe itchiness. By following the guide below, we can be able to either prevent them from occurring totally or minimize the rate at which they occur.
- Drink plenty water always. This will help keep you hydrated. Since dry skin is known to be one of the causes of itchy skin, taking enough water regularly can help you stay hydrated and prevent itching.
- Keep your body temperature in check. Increased body temperature at night can often lead to itchy skin.
- Avoid applying scented beauty products before bed. Most of those cosmetic products contain ingredients that often trigger itching.
- Regularly treat the mattresses, bedding and upholstery for bed bugs, fleas and other insects that their bites are known to cause itching all over the skin.
- Ensure that pets are treated outside for pests and diseases all over the skin.
- Wear clothes that are made from cotton and other natural fibers.
- Maintain good hygiene. Regularly change the bedding and wash them using warm or hot water.
- Cut down your intake of alcohol, caffeine and other things that can lead to an increase in the blood flow to the skin.
- Allow for plenty of air to come in. That will help keep your room as cool as possible.
- Do not share clothes, hats, towels or other personal belongings with people . This will help you stay safe from skin diseases that lead to itching.
- Always go for test or medical check up when you notice anything unusual going on with your skin. That can help you stop it while it is still early.
- Avoid over stressing yourself and anything that always get you depressed. Stress and depression are known to be among the most common causes of nighttime itching. Avoiding these two things that can help you prevent the itching.
Over-the counter Treatment For Itchy Skin At Night
There are different over-the-counter medications that can be used to stop or prevent skin itchiness at night. Below are some of them.
- Supplements like Melatonin. These are sedative in nature. Although they do not directly stop the itch, they can help you sleep through it easily.
- Steroid creams: This can be applied directly on the area of the skin that feels itchy.
- Antidepressants. Most of these are sedative and also help to stop itching. Examples are: Mirtazapine and doxepin.
- Allergy Medications. These are often anti-itch and help in reducing inflammations on the skin. For example Cetirizine, Allegra and Benadryl.
When To Consult A Doctor Concerning Nighttime Itchy Skin
Though it is important to see a doctor if the itchiness bothers you, you should not delay if you notice any of the following.
- Itchiness that has refused to stop over a two-week period.
- A severe itching even after taking over- the-counter treatments to make it stop.
- A rise in your body temperature, weight loss etc, during the period of the itchiness.
- Inability to sleep at night as a result of the constant and severe itching.
- Unusual dry skin that keeps breaking when scratched.
The above signs can be symptoms of a more serious medical condition. Do not hesitate to see a doctor if you ever notices such.
We have in this article discussed the causes of itching at night and how to make it stop.
Does your skin constantly feel itchy at night? Are you searching for home remedies to nighttime itching?
I hope you find the information in this article useful.