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Itchy Skin at Night: Causes and Treatments

20-09-2018 · A rise in skin temperature can make you feel itchy. Your body’s release of certain substances also varies by time of day. At night, you release more cytokines, which increase inflammation ...

20-09-2018

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHTWritten by Stephanie Watson Updated on March 7, 2019

Why does your skin itch at night?

Itchy skin at night, called nocturnal pruritus, can be severe enough to disrupt sleep regularly. Why this happens can range from natural causes to more serious health concerns.

For most people, natural mechanisms could be behind nighttime itch. Your body’s natural circadian rhythms, or daily cycles, influence skin functions like temperature regulation, fluid balance, and barrier protection.

These functions change at night. For example, your body temperature and the blood flow to your skin both increase in the evening, warming your skin. A rise in skin temperature can make you feel itchy.

Your body’s release of certain substances also varies by time of day. At night, you release more cytokines, which increase inflammation. Meanwhile, production of corticosteroids — hormones that reduce inflammation — slows.

On top of these factors, your skin loses more water at night. As you might have noticed during the dry winter months, parched skin itches.

When itchiness hits during the day, work and other activities distract you from the annoying sensation. At night there are fewer distractions, which can make the itch feel even more intense.

Along with your body’s natural circadian rhythms, a number of different health conditions can cause itchy skin to become worse at night. These include:

  • skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, and hives
  • bugs like scabies, lice, bed bugs, and pinworms
  • kidney or liver disease
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • thyroid problems
  • psychological conditions such as stress, depression, and schizophrenia
  • restless legs syndrome
  • cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma
  • nerve disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, shingles, and diabetes
  • allergic reactions to substances like chemicals, drugs, foods, or cosmetics
  • pregnancy

Here are a few medicines and home remedies to relieve itchy skin at night.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications

If a condition like a nerve disorder or restless legs syndrome is causing the itch, see your doctor to get it treated. To treat nighttime itch yourself, you can try an over-the-counter or prescription medicine. Some of these medicines relieve just the itch. Others help you sleep. A few do both.

  • Older antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), hydroxyzine (Vistaril), and promethazine (Phenergan) relieve the itch and make you sleepy.
  • Newer antihistamines, such as fexofenadine (Allegra) or cetirizine (Zyrtec), are also helpful and may be taken at night or during the day.
  • Steroid creams stop the itch at the source.
  • Antidepressants like mirtazapine (Remeron) and doxepin (Silenor) have an anti-itch and sedative effect.

Alternative treatments

To help you sleep, you could try melatonin. This natural hormone helps regulate sleep. When you take it nightly, it has a sedative effect that can help you sleep through the itch.

Home remedies and lifestyle changes

If stress aggravates your skin, try techniques like meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation to calm your mind.

You can also meet with a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This program helps reverse some of the harmful thoughts and actions that aggravate your stress.

You can also try these home remedies:

  • Apply a lubricating, alcohol-free moisturizer like CeraVe, Cetaphil, Vanicream, or Eucerin to your skin during the day and before bed.
  • Apply cool, wet compresses to soothe the itch.
  • Take a bath in lukewarm water and colloidal oatmeal or baking soda.
  • Turn on a humidifier. It will add moisture to the air in your bedroom while you sleep.

If your skin itches at night, here are a few triggers to avoid:

  • Don’t go to bed in anything itchy. Wear pajamas made from soft, natural fibers, like cotton or silk.
  • Keep the temperature in your room cool — around 60 to 65°F. Overheating can make you itch.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. They widen blood vessels and send more blood to warm your skin.
  • Don’t use any cosmetics, perfumed creams, scented soaps, or other products that might irritate your skin.
  • Don’t scratch! You’ll irritate your skin even more. Keep your fingernails short in case you do feel the urge to scratch at night.

See your primary care doctor or a dermatologist if:

  • the itching doesn’t improve within two weeks
  • you can’t sleep because the itch is so intense
  • you have other symptoms, such as weight loss, fever, weakness, or a rash

If you don’t already have a primary care doctor or a dermatologist, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.

Last medically reviewed on September 20, 2018

Here’s Why Your Skin Itches At Night + How You Can Stop It

Why Am I Itching All Over My Body? Itching all over the body can be due to several causes -- bacterial and fungal infections [], eczema [], liver [] and kidney disease [], etc. Itching may be accompanied by a rash, flaky and cracked skin, a flaky scalp, spots or bumps on the skin, and redness.Not all kinds of itches can be cured with home remedies.

As the night kicks in and you hit your bed to have a good night’s sleep, does your skin start itching? If you feel the urge to scratch your arms or legs especially at night, you should not just ignore it.

Do you know that even the bed sheets and pillows you sleep on could make your skin itchy? The urge to scratch any part of the body at night is known as nocturnal pruritus [1]. While it has many underlying causes, it can be treated medically or with natural remedies. We bring you all the details about the condition and how to control it.

Why Am I Itching All Over My Body?

Itching all over the body can be due to several causes -- bacterial and fungal infections [2], eczema [3], liver [4] and kidney disease [5], etc. Itching may be accompanied by a rash, flaky and cracked skin, a flaky scalp, spots or bumps on the skin, and redness. Not all kinds of itches can be cured with home remedies. Depending on the cause, treatments should be taken.

Here are some of the most common causes:

One of the most common causes for itching on the body is cracked, dry and flaky patches on specific areas of the body like the forearms or the back. It is also one of the easiest conditions to treat by drinking enough water, staying hydrated and using an emollient rich moisturiser.

Dry skin is also sometimes a side effect of medication; or can be caused by skin ailments. So visit your dermatologist if the itchiness persists for too long.

Some food items such as peanuts, seafood, eggs, soy and wheat cause an allergic reaction in some people’s bodies. One of these reactions can be itching all over the body. It can occur at night especially if you eat dishes containing these ingredients for dinner.

Dry skin that causes itching is equally found in men and women. But, older people are more prone to itching all over the body as the skin’s production of collagen and natural oils reduces with age, making the skin dry and flaky.

Due to all the hormonal changes during a pregnancy [6], some pregnant women are known to have itching all over the body. It could be due to a rash or a more serious underlying condition like acne or psoriasis. Mostly, it gets better after birthing.

During menopause [7] and perimenopause, the skin may undergo changes in some women. It causes itchy skin which can occur on the face, arms, legs, chest, back and the neck. In some cases, your skin may itch on the T-zone of your face and the elbows.

It occurs because of the hormonal changes in the body during menopause. There is a loss of the hormone oestrogen which is connected with the production of collagen production and natural oils the skin needs. Collagen production slows down leading to itchy skin.

Some cosmetics contain certain chemical ingredients that trigger an itch or an allergic reaction. Mosquito repellent creams, deodorants and other cleansing agents or soaps contain chemicals that can cause an itch.

Some medicines, at times, can cause itching all over the body. These may include OTC painkillers including opioids, drugs used in treating high blood pressure, oestrogen and diuretics [8] that reduce gas and bloating, and other medical conditions like high cholesterol.

Liver and kidney diseases are known to cause a rash all over the body. Skin conditions like psoriasis [9] too causes itching in the body at night. Hypothyroidism[10], stress and anxiety are also known to cause itching in the body.

Eczema, dermatitis, chickenpox and fungal infections in the crotch region (tinea cruris) [11] and athlete’s foot are infections that cause itching all over the body. Sexually transmitted diseases [12], haemorrhoids and on rare occasions, liver and last stage kidney disease can also be a cause of itching at night.

This itching is caused by toxins in plants such as poison ivy , sumac or poison oak, and certain grass varieties. Itching occurs when the skin comes into contact with them and the toxins present in these plants irritate the skin.

Itching on the body, sometimes accompanied by a rash, can be caused by mosquito bites and other parasites such as ticks, fleas, bedbugs, and body lice, etc. The itching can be concentrated where the bite occurred or spread all over the body.

Bug Bites

There are many reasons why the itching worsens at night. Our body's natural rhythms are known to influence even the skin’s functions like fluid retention, blood circulation and temperature. At night, the blood flow and temperature increase make your skin warmer. This may make you want to scratch.

In winter, the skin is drier, so itching can worsen. This also happens because the skin loses moisture at night, making it parched.

At night, the body’s production of corticosteroids that reduce inflammation also slows down. It releases more cytokines at night, which increases inflammation. A combination of these two factors can make night itching worse.

Your mind plays a role too. During the day, even if you have itching on the body, you are busy with other things that distract you. At night, your activity is restricted to sleeping. With fewer distractions, the itching sensation gets stronger.

Sometimes, your bed linen can also cause an allergy, or wearing clothes made of synthetic fabric like nylon or polyester can cause itching all over the body.

A hydrocortisone cream can give you relief as it stops the release of chemicals that cause inflammation and itching on the body. Lubricating creams and lotions which have anti-inflammatory ingredients can reduce the urge to itch.

Antihistamines, which block the release of histamine, can calm the skin, which in turn prevents itching. Some antihistamines can make you drowsy; but there are non-drowsy options available too. A melatonin supplement that helps you sleep can also help.

Word Of Caution:

Medication to reduce itching should only be taken when prescribed by a qualified professional. Depending on your condition, your dermatologist could prescribe a corticosteroid cream or a strong antihistamine.

You can apply a body lotion or moisturiser that is hypoallergenic and fragrance free to control dry skin. This will lock the moisture in your skin that is otherwise lost at night. Body butters and emollient rich creams can help.

Oatmeal has soothing qualities. So showering with a bathing cleanser containing oatmeal before going to bed at night can help reduce the itching.

You can mix this with your bath water and bathe with it twice or thrice a week to reduce body itching. Ensure the water is not too hot when you use baking soda.

You can use a cool compress for the part of the body that is itching the most to calm it down. Then repeat on other areas that are itching. These days, you can even get cool compresses for different parts of the body.

Humidifiers release moisture into the air. So using one in your bedroom can prevent dry skin and control the climate too. If you have trouble falling asleep due to the itching, you can opt for one that has the aroma oil release mechanism included (lavender essential oil can help).

Itching all over the body can stress you out. So massaging your legs or hair, drinking a herbal tea like chamomile or liberally oiling the itchy parts of your skin can help reduce the itch.

You can prevent itching on the body by taking some measures to avoid irritants and create an atmosphere conducive to your skin.

Using bed linen made of organic cotton or natural fabrics made without chemical processes can help in preventing body itching.

If your room is too hot, it can aggravate itchy skin. If you have an air-conditioner or cooler, bring your room’s temperature down to cool the room and your skin. This helps to keep itching at bay.

If you use products that have strong and artificial fragrances, they can aggravate an itch. Use fragrance free products as much as possible.

If you keep your nails short, you won’t be able to scratch yourself much and prevent further infections and complications.

The best and most effective way to prevent and control itching on the body, especially if it is caused by dry skin, is to drink enough water throughout the day. If you don’t have bladder problems, it is recommended you drink a glass of water before you go to bed too.

Reduce the amount of time you spend under the shower before you go to bed. This will prevent dry skin and control the itching.

If you eat something that causes a food allergy, you need to see a doctor. The symptoms can be mild like itchy skin or eyes, or severe like cramps, nausea, diarrhoea and swelling.

If an itch is persistent and doesn’t reduce even with the application of topical creams, OTC medication or natural remedies, consult a dermatologist.

If you have a prevalent skin condition like eczema and you have an itch, consult your doctor for medication that will give you relief.

Stress and anxiety can make you feel like scratching, though there may be no cause behind it. Some nerve disorders also trigger a feeling of itchy skin. The nerve disorder itch could be indicative of other ailments like multiple sclerosis, [13] diabetes or shingles.

In rare cases, an itch that won’t go away with every other treatment could be an early symptom of cancer. But, this holds true only if it is accompanied with other symptoms such as low grade fever, sudden weight loss and night sweats.

Wrapping Up

While itchy skin all over the body at night occurs mostly due to dry skin, there are other causes and medical conditions that can cause it. Preventive measures work best in keeping itchy skin at bay. However, there are several home remedies and topical creams you can apply if your skin starts itching every night. Don’t forget to consult your doctor in case the problem persists for too long.

Did You Know?

  • Those with eczema are more likely to suffer from this condition.
  • If you have hypothyroidism, you could have dry skin that leads to itching all over the body.
  • With age, the skin gets drier, hence older people are more prone to itching all over the body.
  • People living in colder and drier climates have dry skin which is a cause for itching.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

Itchy skin at night: Causes, conditions, and relief

09-01-2020 · The natural cycling of certain hormones, molecules, and chemicals that occur in the body during the night can also cause itchiness. In some cases, the skin may only feel itchier during the night ...

09-01-2020

Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANPWritten by Jennifer Huizen on January 9, 2020

  • What is nocturnal pruritus?
  • Causes
  • Home remedies
  • Treatment
  • When to see a doctor

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Itchy skin at night, or nocturnal pruritus, is a common condition typically caused by natural bodily processes, conditions that irritate the skin, or medications.

Several home remedies, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications, can help reduce symptoms.

In rare cases, however, increased skin irritation at night can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as cancer or organ failure.

itching a foot in bedShare on Pinterest
Severe nocturnal pruritus may affect sleep.

Approximately one-quarter of adults in the United States will experience long-term skin itchiness during their lifetime. This is called chronic pruritus.

According to a 2016 study, over 90 percent of people with chronic pruritus complain of nocturnal pruritus (NP) or increased skin itchiness at night.

Severe cases of NP often disrupt sleep and make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Over time, this can negatively impact emotional well-being, workplace performance, and overall health.

Itching can also cause skin damage and increase the likelihood of infection.

Like many other skin conditions, skin itchiness may increase at night. The natural cycling of certain hormones, molecules, and chemicals that occur in the body during the night can also cause itchiness.

In some cases, the skin may only feel itchier during the night because of a lack of outside distractions. But nighttime itchiness may also be a sign of more serious health conditions.

Natural causes of nighttime itchiness include:

Circadian rhythm

The body regulates hormones and chemicals in part by using a circadian rhythm, which is the body’s natural 24-hour cycle.

The circadian rhythm causes few different fluctuations or changes that can increase nighttime skin itchiness. These include:

  • increased blood flow to the skin
  • increased skin temperature
  • increased cytokine, molecules that coordinate cells communication during immune responses, which may increase inflammation
  • decreased corticosteroid, hormones that help reduce inflammation
  • disrupted prostaglandin (PG), hormones that cause blood vessels to widen
  • increased water loss from the skin (sweat)

Menopause and pregnancy

Changes in the level of the hormone estrogen may cause dryness, itchy skin, or flushed skin. Some menopausal women describe the sensation to feel like ants crawling under their skin.

Other causes

Other common causes of nighttime itchiness include:

Share on Pinterest
Bed bugs may cause nighttime itchiness.
  • hives
  • insect bites, including those from bed bugs, lice, flies, or fleas
  • allergic reactions to chemicals, dyes, or fragrances
  • dry skin
  • sunburn or burn
  • chicken pox
  • stress
  • excessive sweating
  • nervous habit
  • medications, including antibiotics, antifungals, statins, and opioid analgesics (narcotics)

In rare cases, itchy skin at night can be a sign of more serious conditions or those that require treatment. These include:

There are several easy ways to help decrease nighttime itchiness without the use of medication.

Common ways to reduce dry skin at night include:

  • bathing in cool or lukewarm water before bed, using only moisturizing, scent-free soaps, baking soda, or colloidal oatmeal. These are available to purchase online.
  • applying glycerine based, oil- and alcohol-free moisturizers before bedtime, such as Cetaphil, Eucerin, or CeraVe
  • using natural ointments and creams with vitamin E and aloe vera
  • running a humidifier in the bedroom to moisten the air. Various types of humidifiers are available online.
  • applying a cool compress, such as a cold, damp cloth, to the skin before bed
  • using a fan to create airflow and background noise as a source of mental distraction
  • wearing gloves or mittens to avoid scratching, which can worsen symptoms
  • using meditation tapes or techniques when falling asleep. Books and audio guides are available.
  • practicing relaxation techniques, such as visualization, before bed
  • trimming the fingernails to reduce the chances of further irritating the skin
  • wearing loose fitting clothing to allow the skin to breathe
  • not allowing pets in the bedroom
  • checking the bedroom for signs of bed bugs or other insect infestations, including fleas or biting ants
  • drinking a caffeine-free tea, such as chamomile or peppermint, before bedtime
  • using 2 to 3 drops of a relaxing essential oil, such as lavender, on the pillow before bedtime. Compare different products before purchasing.

Prevention

Making simple lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of itchy skin at night.

Ways to prevent nighttime itching include:

Share on Pinterest
Staying hydrated may help to reduce dry skin.
  • staying hydrated to reduce dry skin
  • avoiding saunas and long, warm baths or showers before bedtime to prevent increased body temperature and moisture loss
  • wearing clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton
  • avoiding scented or dyed cosmetic, cleansing, or beauty treatments before bedtime
  • avoiding chemicals such as caffeine and alcohol that can increase blood flow to the skin
  • keeping the bedroom cool, or below 70°F, and make sure there is plenty of air flow
  • trying not to do activities that raise body temperature and increase blood flow to the skin before bedtime
  • changing bedding regularly, ideally weekly
  • treating all household pets that go outdoors with veterinarian-approved medications for parasites such fleas, tics, and ringworms

There are also over-the-counter and prescription medications available that can help treat existing symptoms and prevent them from recurring. Over-the-counter medications used to treat and prevent nighttime itchiness include:

  • Corticosteroid creams such as hydrocortisone cream, which may help reduce inflammation. Look for products with between 1 and 2.5 percent active ingredient.
  • Allergy medications, which may help reduce inflammation. These include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), fexofenadine (Allegra), and cetirizine (Zyrtec).
  • Supplements that increase drowsiness, such as melatonin, a natural hormone produced only at night.

Prescription medications used to treat dry skin at night include:

  • Corticosteroid creams or pills, which are much stronger than over-the-counter medications and can help reduce itching caused by skin inflammation.
  • Antidepressants, such as doxepin (Silenor) and mirtazapine (Remeron) may help reduce itching caused by depression and anxiety.
  • Immunosuppressants, such as topical calcineurin inhibitors (Gengraf, Hecoria, Neoral), can help reduce inflammation.
  • Phototherapy, which uses UVB wavelengths to help reduce the skin’s immune response and decrease inflammation.
  • Gabapentin and pregabalin, which can help treat insomnia and reduce anxiety.
  • Kappa opioid agonists, which can help treat insomnia and reduce the sensation of itchiness.
  • Hormone replacement therapy, in particular estrogen based medications, which may help reduce dry skin and itchiness.

Chronic, or long-lasting cases of nighttime itchiness should be assessed by a doctor, especially those not related to pre-existing health conditions.

A doctor should also be consulted anytime dry skin at night becomes bothersome or interferes with everyday activities.

Reasons to seek medical attention for dry skin at night include:

  • sudden, unexplained itchiness that lasts for more than 2 weeks
  • dry skin at night that does not improve with the use of home remedies or lifestyle changes
  • dry skin that interferes with sleep quality
  • dry skin or itchiness that affects the whole body
  • dry skin accompanied by other symptoms, such as skin changes, fever, tiredness, or weight loss

Last medically reviewed on January 9, 2020

  • Dermatology
  • Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia
Itching at Night: Causes and Treatments for Nighttime Itching

13-02-2017 · Nighttime itching can be intense and annoying at best. Whether it is a dry skin condition or a serious health issue,

13-02-2017

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

itchingHave you ever been all comfy and settled in bed only to feel a little itch? You give it a rub or scratch, and before you are content, the sensation returns. So you scratch it again and again as the itching grows and becomes a nuisance.

This is nighttime itching. We scratch a small itch maybe a dozen times a day unconsciously, but how serious is it when you develop itching at night? It may be a temporary reaction to a number of mild causes, or it may a signal an underlying health issue. We will uncover nighttime itching remedies and ways to prevent reoccurrences.

What Causes Nighttime Itching?

Pruritus is the itching of the skin. As with many conditions and illnesses, it seems to become worse at night. You may think it is dry skin, especially if it occurs mainly in the cold winter months when the skin becomes more susceptible due to the lack of moisture in the air. Or you may attribute it to your laundry detergent, new body soap, parasites, or even stress. Before you rush to the doctor or pharmacy to grab a bottle of lotion, let’s take a look at what causes itching at night.

1. Bed Clothes and Linen

Your personal items could be causing your nighttime itching due to irritants and even parasites. Changes in your body processes can cause you to develop an allergen to laundry soaps, body soaps, and shampoos, even if you have been using the same brand for years with no negative reactions. It could also be associated with a dust mite allergy. A change in your system can also impact the tolerance of certain components of your jewelry. Unfortunately, you could also have an infestation of bedbugs, fleas, or other insects.

2. Decreased Stimulation

As we sleep, our energy and stimulus levels decrease, which may make us more conscious of issues such as itchiness, even the most mild of the condition. If you suffer from a severe skin condition, it can disturb your sleep cycle to the point of waking you up in the night. Without a proper REM cycle, you can experience changes in mood and physical symptoms.

3. Internal Clock

Your internal clock, also known as circadian rhythm, refers to the biological processes your body goes through over a 24-hour period. These physical, mental, and behavioral changes in the system respond to your day (light) and night (dark) environments. Nocturnal itching episodes may be associated with these changes, although no definite factor has been identified.

  • Cytokine and prostaglandin can cause the itching sensation in an unbalanced circadian rhythm as these substances produced by cells affect inflammation outcome.
  • Skin temperature rises at night, which may stimulate the itch facilitator levels in our skin.
  • Corticosteroid body levels tend to decrease at night, which increases symptoms of an inflammatory skin disorder.
  • Water loss through the skin intensifies at nighttime.
  • Parasympathetic activity is known as the “rest and digest” portion of our autonomic nervous system. In this state of normal control, your body is in a relaxed condition, and at night, it increases and may stimulate itching.
  • Natural pain-relieving catalysts in our system rise in response to the darkness with a damaged circadian rhythm. A lessened pain increases our sense of itchiness.

Aside from severe dry skin, several health disorders and diseases also have symptoms of dry, itchy skin that seem to be exacerbated at night. These conditions are atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, urticaria, lichen simplex chronicus, liver and kidney issues, and blood disorders. There are some sleep pattern disorders that can also cause nocturnal itching.

How to Treat Nighttime Itching?

You can try to resolve the nocturnal itching at home with several remedies and prevent a reoccurrence.

1. Soak at Night

Bathe in the evening to remove the day’s dead skin cells, dirt, and sweat. Keep in mind very hot water can irritate and dry out the skin. Use warm water and spend 15 minutes or less in the shower or bath.

2. Use Mild Soaps

Use unscented soaps, especially at night. Antibacterial and perfume-infused soaps can draw the moisture from your skin and cause itchiness.

3. Moisturize the Skin

Use a moisturizer created for dry skin conditions. Moisturizing after a bath or shower can help prevent itchiness as it replenishes the skin’s moisture.

4. Change the Sheets

Change your sheets frequently. If you cannot alternate bed linen daily, hang your bedding in direct sunlight to remove dust mites and any bacteria and dead skin cells.

5. Flip the Mattress

Use a mattress protector or flip mattress weekly as it may be home to millions of microscopic organisms. Replace the mattress when you can.

6. Call Pest Control

Have a pest control agent inspect for infestations. There may be an issue with bedbugs, body lice, fleas, or scabies mites. You can still feel the effects from these parasites without direct contact as they attach to clothing, linens, and mattresses.

7. Ventilate the Room

Sleep in a cool well-ventilated room. This will reduce body temperature and sweating, which can stimulate itchy dryness. Try keeping the bedroom heat down by opening a window, turning on a fan, or keeping the air conditioner on.

8. Use Lightweight Fabrics

Wear light cotton sleepwear and use light blankets. As your body temperature rises, so does the intensity of the itch.

Symptoms of SepsisWhen to Call a Doctor

If you have tried the aforementioned home remedies for nighttime itching with no relief, you may want to consult your doctor. Depending on the cause of your condition, you may be prescribed antihistamines to diminish itching or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation if itchiness is associated with a skin disorder.

You may need calcineurin inhibitors to suppress your immune system or even antidepressants. These will help in lessening the itch symptoms related to mental stress or psychogenic disorders.

Dry, itchy skin can be triggered by stimuli at night, which can interfere with your resting and sleeping times. There are various mild skin conditions that cause night itchiness as well as several health issues that should be addressed. Home remedies to counteract or prevent itchiness can be undertaken before calling a doctor. The answer may lie in your bedding, personal hygiene items, or even in the air you breathe. If all attempts fail, contact your doctor for guidance as it could be a hidden medical condition or a symptom of a related issue.

Also Read:

Sources:
Dr. Chris, “Nighttime Itching Reasons, Causes, Remedies, Treatments,” Health Hype; http://www.healthhype.com/nighttime-itching-reasons-causes-remedies-treatment.html, last accessed February 6, 2017.
Dr. Chris, “How to Relieve Nighttime Itching in Bed”, Health Hype; http://www.healthhype.com/how-to-relieve-nighttime-itching-in-bed.html, last accessed February 6, 2017.
“Circadian Rhythms Fact Sheet,” National Institute of General Medical Sciences; https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx, last accessed February 6, 2017.

What Causes Itchy Skin at Night?

12-05-2021 · Before bedtime, taking a lukewarm shower or bath (try adding colloidal oatmeal) or applying cool compresses to your skin can be helpful. Consider running a fan in your bedroom to distract you from the itch. Keep your bedroom cool (below 70°F), and use a humidifier if the air is too dry. Wear loose pajamas made of a soft material such as cotton or silk. If you think stress might be ...

12-05-2021

Medical Review By: Marianne Pineda, PA-C

How many times has this happened to you: You’re in bed, trying to wind down and drift into sleep, and suddenly your skin starts itching — maybe so much so that it’s hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.

You’re not alone. Itchy skin at night, which doctors call nocturnal pruritus, is fairly common. The causes are not completely understood, but these factors play a role.

Circadian rhythm

You can blame nocturnal itching in part on your body’s circadian rhythms. These are cycles that repeat every 24 hours, controlled by a “master clock” in the brain. Circadian rhythms influence sleepiness and wakefulness, hormonal activity, hunger, digestion and body temperature, among other things.

In the evening, the body releases more heat, and blood flow to the skin increases, which may contribute to nighttime itching. In addition, skin loses water at night, resulting in dryness that can make you itchy. That water loss is likely due to nighttime changes in the skin’s barrier function, which could also let in more irritants.

Inflammation may also play a role. At night, the body releases more cytokines, which are immune system proteins that create inflammation. This can cause itching or make itching worse. At the same time, the body’s production of corticosteroids, which tame inflammation, declines.

It’s also possible that you simply notice itching more when you’re in bed trying to sleep than when you’re busy and distracted during the day.

Health conditions

Itching related to certain health conditions can be worse at night.

Common skin conditions. These include psoriasis, eczema and dry skin. Older people are more susceptible to nighttime itching in part because the skin tends to dry out with age.

Mental health issues. Stress and anxiety can contribute to nighttime itching, as can depression and schizophrenia.

Infestations. Bed bugs, lice and scabies all cause itching, especially at night. Bed bugs feast when you’re in bed. Lice and scabies mites are also more active at night.

Hormones. Pregnancy, menopause and hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) or hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) can contribute to nighttime itching.

Allergies. A food allergy could cause skin to itch at night.

Iron deficiency anemia. Some people with iron deficiency anemia have itchy skin. Other symptoms include tiredness, pale skin, shortness of breath and fast heartbeat.

Chronic idiopathic pruritis. This condition, whose name means chronic itching with no known cause, can be especially challenging because it can significantly worsen a person’s quality of life, and yet the best treatments remain unknown. A team that includes an allergist, an immunologist and a dermatologist can work together and order lab tests, such as blood tests and even chest X-rays, to identify possible underlying triggers.

In some cases, itching, including nighttime itching, can be a sign of a serious condition such as liver or kidney disease, HIV or certain cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. It can also stem from nerve problems, such as diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage from diabetes), multiple sclerosis or shingles.

Opioids, used to treat serious pain, can also cause itching.

Home remedies for nighttime itching

Oftentimes, simple home remedies can ease the itching.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening, since they widen blood vessels, which sends more blood to the skin.
  • If you use a scented soap or deodorant soap, switch to a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizing soap or non-soap cleanser.
  • Apply a fragrance-free, alcohol-free moisturizing lotion such as Cetaphil, Eucerin or CeraVe during the day and after bathing.
  • Before bedtime, taking a lukewarm shower or bath (try adding colloidal oatmeal) or applying cool compresses to your skin can be helpful.
  • Consider running a fan in your bedroom to distract you from the itch. Keep your bedroom cool (below 70°F), and use a humidifier if the air is too dry.
  • Wear loose pajamas made of a soft material such as cotton or silk.
  • If you think stress might be contributing to your itching, try yoga, meditation, stretching, deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation before bed.

Scratching can make itching worse, but the urge to scratch can be hard to resist. If you can’t keep yourself from scratching, trim your fingernails and consider wearing cotton gloves to bed.

When to see a doctor

If your nighttime itching lasts longer than two weeks and home remedies don’t help, talk to your doctor. Itching that interferes with your sleep, affects your entire body or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, tiredness or weight loss should be evaluated.

Treatment depends on the cause of the itching. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications such as corticosteroid cream, allergy medication or melatonin to help you sleep.

In some cases, prescription medication may be necessary. Options include stronger corticosteroid creams and pills, antidepressants that have a sedative effect, immunosuppressants (to reduce inflammation), hormone replacement therapy and various drugs that help treat insomnia and reduce anxiety or itching.

Article Written By: Jessica Brown, a health and science writer/editor based in Brooklyn, New York. She has written for Prevention magazine, jnj.com, BCRF.org and many other outlets.

Why Does My Skin Get so Itchy at Night?

16-08-2019 · Your skin gets itchy at night due to the following reasons: Circadian rhythm issues such as increased body temperature. Menopause or pregnancy issues such as changes in estrogen. Other causes such as dry skin, bug bites, allergic reactions. More serious underlying issues …

16-08-2019

Itchy skin at night is beyond frustrating. I have had many nights in my life disrupted by itchy skin that can’t help but be scratched. I’ve also been asked by many patients this same question over and over: Why does my skin get so itchy at night?

Your skin may get itchy at night due to the following reasons:

  • Circadian rhythm issues such as increased body temperature.
  • Menopause or pregnancy issues such as changes in estrogen.
  • Other causes such as dry skin, bug bites, allergic reactions.
  • More serious underlying issues such as thyroid, kidney, or liver issues.

There are fewer distractions at night which leads many to focus on the itch. But beyond the lack of distraction, there are so many other reasons. Consider each of the possible causes I outline below to determine which might apply in your case.

Nocturnal Pruritus (Nighttime Itchiness) Explained

Itchy skin at night, otherwise called nocturnal pruritus, is a typical condition commonly brought about by various conditions or medication.

There are some homemade cures, also store-bought and prescription drugs, that can all help diminish this frustrating issue.

In a few cases, inflamed and itchy skin at night could be a sign of organ issues or even cancer. This is rare, however, so I don’t want to scare you.

Roughly one-fourth of adults in the US will encounter skin irritation for a long period (otherwise called chronic pruritus) of time at least once during their life. This can be an itch on a certain part of their body, like itchy arms, itchy feet, or an itch all over the body.

Research in 2016 showed that more than 90% of individuals with this skin issue say that the itch occurs mostly at night more than at any other time of the day.

Serious instances of nocturnal pruritus regularly upset rest and make it hard to get a decent night’s sleep. After some time, this can adversely affect your overall health, how you perform at work, and relationships.

Itchy skin can also further lead to scratching and tearing open the skin, which will seriously harm it and improve the probability of infection.

As well as many other health issues, itchy skin commonly gets worse at night around evening time. The normal processes of specific chemicals and hormones that happen in the body in the evening can lead to itchy skin.

At times, the skin may just feel itchier after sundown because you are less distracted and, therefore, will notice the itchiness much more. Likewise, evening irritation may be an indication of progressively worsening health.

Read on to learn the answer to the question, “Why does my skin get so itchy at night?” You can then make small changes in your life to avoid itchiness.

Circadian Rhythm

The first to consider is circadian rhythm. The body controls hormones and synthetic compounds to some extent by utilizing a circadian beat, which is the body’s normal 24-hour cycle.

This circadian rhythm leads to a couple of various disruptions that can expand evening skin irritation. These include:

  • Higher blood pressure to the skin
  • More sweat which leads to a decrease in ware from the skin which leads to dry skin
  • Upset prostaglandin, hormones that lead to expanded veins
  • More cytokine, particles that facilitate cells correspondence with the immune system, which may build skin aggravation
  • Diminished corticosteroid, hormones that lead to lower irritation

Menopause or Pregnancy

Changes in the amount of estrogen in the body may lead to red, irritated, dry, or inflamed skin. Women experiencing this during menopause have said the feeling is akin to bugs moving around under their skin.

Other Possible Causes

Other potential causes for evening irritation include:

  • Bug bites, including those from flies, lice, bed bugs or fleas
  • Hypersensitive responses to synthetics in the bedding or pajamas, including various chemicals, fragrance or artificial colors.
  • Anxiety or nervous twitch
  • Drugs, including antibiotics, antimicrobials, statins, and narcotics

In only a few cases, irritated skin in the evening can be an indication of progressively worsening, underlying health issues that need to be remedied first. These include:

  • Fungus, for example, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and infections
  • Psoriasis, an immune system condition with red, dry, itchy, and scaly patches of skin
  • Dermatitis, a skin disease with chronic irritation, redness, rashes, and inflammation
  • Thyroid issues, particularly an overactive thyroid
  • Issues that influence the nervous system, for example, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, shingles
  • Skin cancer or other malignant growths including lymphoma and leukemia
  • Clinically diagnosed depression or anxiety

The below video gives some great insight into why we get itchy feet at night:

Possible Solution to Relieve the Itch

It can be quite difficult to determine exactly what’s causing the frustrating itch. It might be as basic as the garments you wear. In any case, it can likewise be an indication of something increasingly concerning, like a skin disease.

Begin considering the quickest ways to stop the itch. Use alternate bedding or pajamas, follow the best skincare practice, and abstain from whatever appears to cause that itch.

On the off chance that that doesn’t help, ask your specialist, who will assess the reason and the solution you need.

Is Your Skin Dry?

If your skin is dry, it will tell you with a persistent tingle. It very well may be particularly terrible in the winter and in spots where the air is dry. As you age, it is normal for it to worsen.

To bring relief to an itch caused by dry skin:

  • Use a fragrance-free moisturizer after you wash while your skin is moist.
  • Drink several glasses of water to remain hydrated.
  • Keep a humidifier in your bedroom.
  • Have only brief showers, and use only lukewarm water.
  • Use gentle ‘sensitive-skin’ cleansers.

Is There a Rash?

If your scratch leads to a rash, the issue is in the skin. It can happen due to:

  • Bacterial contaminations such as impetigo and folliculitis.
  • Bugs: When you get nibbled by a spider or mosquito, the mark it leaves is fairly obvious. Bites from mites or bed bugs can be more difficult to assess as they look like a common red rash or bumps from dermatitis. Lice can cause a creeping feeling in your hair and are followed by a persistent itch.
  • Atopic dermatitis: It appears on your skin as dry, layered patches or a red rash. It isn’t clear what causes it, however, it’s very irritating. Children are bound to get it if their family has a past filled with asthma and hypersensitivities. Certain food sensitivities can aggravate it. Scratching as well will lead to more itch and a vicious itch-scratch cycle.
  • Contact dermatitis: This bothersome rash is brought about by a response to something contacting your skin. You may need to do some investigator work to make sense of where it’s coming from. It could be the metals in jewelry or the synthetics in makeup, personal hygiene products, and cleaning products.

Some plants, such as poison ivy, also lead to a type of contact dermatitis. Quit wearing or utilizing whatever you think may be the reason and check whether the itchy skin at night starts to show signs of improvement.

Is It Beneath the Surface?

Your skin may tell you when something isn’t exactly directly inside your body. This frustrating tingle can be a side effect of more profound issues.

  • Hives: You get them from hypersensitivities. They look like raised welts that appear alone or in bunches, and they are generally bothersome. Stress, warmth, exercise, or introduction to the sun can likewise bring them out.
  • Psoriasis: It influences your body to overproduce skin cells, which heap up in irritated red patches on the skin’s surface. This is an aftereffect of an issue with your immune.
  • Pregnancy: More than 1 of every 10 pregnant ladies state itchy skin at night is an issue. The reasons go from innocuous rashes to more concerning issues.

Is It Caused by Medication You Are Taking?

Some may make your skin tingle and produce irritation, even without any indications of a rash. Check with your specialist if the itch turns out to be excessively bothersome and distracting. These medications are known to make you begin scratching.

  • Certain hypertension drugs called ACE inhibitors
  • Allopurinol for gout
  • Opioids which are diagnosed to relieve from pain
  • Amiodarone for heart cadence issues
  • Estrogen
  • Diuretic pills that are said to decreasing bloating
  • Simvastatin for elevated cholesterol
  • Hydroxyethyl cellulose which doctors use during medical procedures

See the below video to learn more on why we itch:

Conclusion – Why Does My Skin Get so Itchy at Night?

Why does my skin get so itchy at night? Your skin gets itchy at night due to the following reasons:

  • Circadian rhythm issues such as increased body temperature.
  • Menopause or pregnancy issues such as changes in estrogen.
  • Other causes such as dry skin, bug bites, allergic reactions.
  • More serious underlying issues such as thyroid, kidney, or liver issues.

Related Questions:

Does anemia cause itching at night? Most times, itching can be solved easily with small changes in lifestyle; however, it can be from a deeper issue such as anemia. At times, nighttime itching can be due to diabetes, overactive thyroids, low iron, celiac disease, and malignancies like lymphoma and leukemia.

Can low iron cause itchy skin? Low iron anemia is among the most widely recognized kind of anemia. Individuals with low iron may lead to itchiness at night, otherwise known as nocturnal pruritus. When your skin itches and then you scratch it, this will tear the skin leading to a red rash and possible infection.

Can itchy skin be a sign of liver problems? Often as normal as chronic tiredness, itchy skin influences a greater part of people sooner or later in their life. Chronic tingling will, in general, happen from the beginning phases of liver disease, when people still have a healthy liver. Chronic itching can be the first sign of liver issues.

Related reading:

What to Put on the Skin to Prevent Bed Bug Bites?

Do Bed Bug Bites Spread When Scratched?

How Long Do Bug Bites Last on Skin?

Itchy Soles of Feet at Night – Causes and Remedies

Itchy skin (pruritus) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

This content does not have an English version.This content does not have an Arabic version. Itchy skin is an uncomfortable, irritating sensation that makes you want to scratch. Also known as pruritus…

This content does not have an English version.

This content does not have an Arabic version.

Itchy skin is an uncomfortable, irritating sensation that makes you want to scratch. Also known as pruritus (proo-RIE-tus), itchy skin is often caused by dry skin. It's common in older adults, as skin tends to become drier with age.

Depending on the cause of your itchiness, your skin may appear normal, red, rough or bumpy. Repeated scratching can cause raised thick areas of skin that might bleed or become infected.

Many people find relief with self-care measures such as moisturizing daily, using gentle cleansers and bathing with lukewarm water. Long-term relief requires identifying and treating the cause of itchy skin. Common treatments are medicated creams, moist dressings and oral anti-itch medicines.

  • Book: Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies

Symptoms

Itchy skin can affect small areas, such as the scalp, an arm or a leg, or the whole body. Itchy skin can occur without any other noticeable changes on the skin. Or it may be associated with:

  • Redness
  • Scratch marks
  • Bumps, spots or blisters
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Leathery or scaly patches

Sometimes itchiness lasts a long time and can be intense. As you rub or scratch the area, it gets itchier. And the more it itches, the more you scratch. Breaking this itch-scratch cycle can be difficult.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor or a skin disease specialist (dermatologist) if the itching:

  • Lasts more than two weeks and doesn't improve with self-care measures
  • Is severe and distracts you from your daily routines or prevents you from sleeping
  • Comes on suddenly and can't be easily explained
  • Affects your whole body
  • Is accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as weight loss, fever or night sweats

If the condition persists for three months despite treatment, see a dermatologist to be evaluated for skin disease. It may also be necessary to see a doctor who specializes in internal medicine (internist) to be evaluated for other diseases.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic

Causes

Causes of itchy skin include:

  • Skin conditions. Examples include dry skin (xerosis), eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis, scabies, parasites, burns, scars, insect bites and hives.
  • Internal diseases. Itching on the whole body might be a symptom of an underlying illness, such as liver disease, kidney disease, anemia, diabetes, thyroid problems, multiple myeloma or lymphoma.
  • Nerve disorders. Examples include multiple sclerosis, pinched nerves and shingles (herpes zoster).
  • Psychiatric conditions. Examples include anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.
  • Irritation and allergic reactions. Wool, chemicals, soaps and other substances can irritate the skin and cause rashes and itching. Sometimes the substance, such as poison ivy or cosmetics, causes an allergic reaction. Also, reactions to certain drugs, such as narcotic pain medications (opioids) can cause itchy skin.

Sometimes the cause of the itching can't be determined.

Complications

Itchy skin that is severe or lasts more than six weeks (chronic pruritus) can affect the quality of your life. It might interrupt your sleep or cause anxiety or depression. Prolonged itching and scratching can increase the intensity of the itch, possibly leading to skin injury, infection and scarring.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic
  1. Fazio SB, et al. Pruritis: Overview of management. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Pruritus without rash. Mayo Clinic; 2020.
  3. James WD, et al. Pruritus and neurocutaneous dermatoses. In: Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.
  4. Yosipovitch G, et al. Chronic pruritis. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:1625.
  5. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Nov. 25, 2020.
  6. Fazio SB, et al. Pruritis: Etiology and patient evaluation. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.
  7. James WD, et al. Eczema, atopic dermatitis, and noninfectious immunodeficiency disorders. In: Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.
  8. Taylor, SC. Cosmetic applications. In: Treatments for Skin of Color. Elsevier; 2011.
  9. Kermott CA, et al., eds. Poison ivy rash. In: Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. 2nd ed. Time; 2017.
  10. Kermott CA, et al., eds. Poison ivy rash. In: Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. 2nd ed. Time; 2017.

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Why You Get Itchy Skin At Night

There are also non-dermatological conditions that can cause itchy skin at night, such as restless leg syndrome (which could be the cause of itchy legs at night), …

From your partner's snoring to your pet's bizarre need to sleep directly on top of your face, it can feel like the entire universe is against you getting a good night's rest — especially when your own skin decides to revolt. If your skin gets itchy at night you aren't alone — and no, you aren't making it up. It happens. It's real. And it's hella annoying.

Nocturnal pruritus is the term that doctors use to describe itchy skin at night. "It's common for people with dermatological conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema; however, many people experience it without any co-existing skin disorders," says Zain Husain, M.D., a dermatologist practicing at the New Jersey Dermatology & Aesthetics Center.

Itchy skin can strike during any stage of your body's natural sleep/wake cycle but is most likely to happen when you lay in bed right before you fall asleep. So, why is your skin so itchy at night?

Here's Why You Have Itchy Skin At Night , young woman looks at her skin and scratches it

It's not entirely clear why nocturnal pruritus does its thing at the most inconvenient time ever, but doctors do have a few theories. "There are many physiological changes that occur in your body at night, including changes in thermoregulation, skin barrier function, and fluid balance," says Donna Hart, M.D., a dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas.

For starters, your body regulates its core temperature to be lowest at night. It does this by increasing blood flow to the skin, which is what allows the heat in your body to dissipate, says Dr. Hart. This temporary uptick in body temperature may correspond to increased sensations of itchiness. (Related: What's Causing Your Itchy Skin?)

Your skin's ability to retain moisture is also lowest at night. Not only can the subsequent dryness cause itchy skin, but an impaired skin barrier makes it easier for itch-inducing substances (known as pruritogens) to cause drama, says Dr. Hart.

These substances are produced by your cells for a variety of reasons, such as managing inflammation (the most famous one being histamine, which your immune system pumps out during an allergic reaction), and can be triggered by your environment as well (the weather, bug bites). Once the substances are released, they bind to specific receptors that activate nerve endings in the skin, triggering itchy skin at night — and frankly any time.

To top it off, the body's anti-inflammatory corticosteroid levels are lowered at night, while certain itch-inducing hormones and cytokines (proteins that act as tiny signaling messengers) are released in higher quantities — a one-two punch that can make the sensation of itchiness that much more noticeable.

Then there's the psychological component: "We have fewer distractions when we lie down at the end of the day, making us more aware of any itchiness we may feel," says Joel Schlessinger, M.D., an Omaha-based cosmetic surgeon.

There's a strong association between psychological issues (stress, anxiety, and depression) and nocturnal pruritus and itching at night, though it's not clear how one leads to the other, says Dr. Hart. (Related: 10 Weird Ways Your Body Reacts to Stress)

One theory is that psychological drama can hyper-activate the body's fight-or-flight response, flooding the body with hormones (like cortisol and adrenaline) and activating the immune system (cue histamines) as protection.

When stress happens in small doses, the body's release of cortisol has an anti-inflammatory effect that may cancel out the stress-induced itchiness caused by the excess histamines. But chronic stress and anxiety can interfere with your body's ability to produce enough cortisol to pick up the slack (your body gets desensitized to cortisol after a while), says Dr. Hart, and this may be what makes the itchy skin at night that much more intense when you're always stressed out.

Another possibility: Because our skin is a direct pathway to our nerves, and our nerve endings go into overdrive during psychological stress, this can also result in intense itching, says Michele Green, M.D., a New York-based dermatologist. (Related: How Your Emotions Affect Your Skin)

A (cruel) cycle of sleep deprivation and itchiness may follow, since an out-of-whack sleep cycle can dysregulate the hormones necessary to keep nocturnal pruritus in check, resulting in a cascade effect that ultimately triggers — you guessed it — itchy skin at night only.

Obviously, an underlying skin condition, such as eczema, psoriasis, or hives, can cause excessive itching at night. Ditto for pest infestations, including bed bugs and scabies, which can be worse at night when the mites are more active, says Dr. Hart. (Shudders.)

There are also non-dermatological conditions that can cause itchy skin at night, such as restless leg syndrome (which could be the cause of itchy legs at night), diabetes, and thyroid problems, as well as kidney disease and cancer on the more serious (albeit rare) side of the spectrum. (Related: What It Means If You Have Night Sweats During Your Period)

"These conditions can trigger a hormonal imbalance, autoimmune response, or sensory response that results in itchy skin at night," says Dr. Green. In addition to itchy skin at night, you might experience other pesky symptoms including night sweats, constipation, tingly feet, weight gain, dry skin, dizziness, and fatigue.

"If you aren't suffering from an underlying condition that's contributing to itchy skin at night, there are a few things you can do to relieve the sensation without actually scratching," says Dr. Schlessinger. (After all, the more you scratch, the more your nerve endings will act up.)

Using a (fragrance-free) lotion throughout the day and right before bed, like Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream (Buy It, , amazon.com), can keep your skin from drying out. Meanwhile, a melatonin supplement, like HUM Nutrition Beauty zzZz (Buy It, , sephora.com), can help with keeping your sleep cycle on the rails (and you snoozing through the itchy sensations), he adds.

And avoid taking hot showers, as the heat can actually trigger histamine release and exacerbate itching at night. Keeping your skin as cool as possible at night (say, with cold showers or a humidifier) can also suppress the desire to itch, says Dr. Green.

Lastly, topical steroids, like over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, can be useful in breaking the scratch-itch cycle—so can popping an antihistamine, like Benadryl. "Antihistamines block the release of histamine, your body's natural response to inflammation, thus calming down the itchiness," says Dr. Husain. (Related: Products and Tips to Deal with Itchy, Dry Skin On Your Face)

If your itchy skin at night is causing you to lose sleep or last longer than a few weeks, experts recommend checking in with your doctor — especially if you notice other unusual symptoms too. "Your physician can rule out any conditions that are contributing to your nocturnal pruritus or refer you to a specialist, such as a dermatologist, to seek treatment," says Dr. Husain.

Why You Feel Itchy in Bed at Night

30-06-2021 · Another theory as to why you may feel itchy when you lie down at night—also not scientifically confirmed—is because you’re more focused on …

30-06-2021
asleep in bed

Adam ListerGetty Images

The scene: You collapse into your bed after an exhaustingly long day. Finally! But just as you’re about to be out, you feel your skin itching and have the urge to scratch. And maybe scratch some more, even though you weren’t feeling itchy all day. What’s happening?

According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, an associate professor in the department of dermatology and the director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, it turns out that feeling itchy when you lie down in bed at night is more common than you may think. Yet scientists don’t know exactly why, although they do have some suggestions on how to tame it so you can get some sleep.

One theory, though it hasn’t been formally proven, is that feeling itchy when you get in bed to sleep is related to your body’s circadian rhythms, says Brian Kim, MD, co-director at the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Some of your body’s internal chemicals may be more or less plentiful at night, so the feeling of the itch may come through more at night.

Another theory as to why you may feel itchy when you lie down at night—also not scientifically confirmed—is because you’re more focused on how you’re feeling physically, Dr. Zeichner says. During the day, being distracted by work and other tasks may make it easier to suppress the itch sensation.

Itching at night may also just be about how your skin works, says Dr. Zeichner. Skin hydration levels tend to go down in the afternoon, and the drop continues into the evening. “This means the skin is likely more dry at night, contributing to skin barrier dysfunction, dryness, inflammation, and itching,” he says.

To stop the annoying itching and scratching, Dr. Zeichner recommends applying lotions or moisturizers to the skin before bed. If it’s only your feet that are experiencing the itching, some additional reasons may be at play—athlete’s foot being one. (Find out more about why your feet itch at night here.)

Also, if you have allergies or sensitive skin, it may be worthwhile to switch to a hypoallergenic or fragrance-free laundry detergent for washing your clothes and bedding. But if all else fails and you’re still struggling to resolve your PM itchiness, see a dermatologist to help you get to the root of the cause.

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Itchy Bum at Night: Causes, Treatments, When to See a Doctor

23-03-2021 · The added moisture from menstruating at night can contribute to increased itch and irritation around the anus, vagina, and buttocks. Throughout the day, remember to …

23-03-2021

We all know how elusive the perfect night of sleep can be. From a room that’s too hot to the millions of thoughts that might be running through your mind, there’s no shortage of potential interruptions. That’s why it’s important for us to determine which annoyances we can control. If you find yourself kept up at night by an irritating itch around your backside, you are not alone.

There are steps you can take to identify the cause of any nighttime itching you may notice around your bum. Whether these symptoms are more noticeable at night, or specific to nighttime, there are plenty of ways to treat this discomfort.

Itching may be more common at night due to activities that typically precede sleep: dinner, drinking, use of the toilet, and showering, for example. Additionally, we may become more sensitive to irritants at night since there is less stimulus to distract us than throughout the rest of the day.

So what could be the root of your nighttime itch?

Bathroom habits and hygiene

Be sure to wipe correctly following the use of the toilet. You may notice that wiping too hard can cause irritation and over-dry the area around the anus. Alternatively, wiping too gently can leave some fecal residue, which might contribute to additional irritation and the potential for infection in any areas where the skin might be chapped or broken.

For the most success in the bathroom, consider using two-ply toilet paper and wiping gently from front to back. You also might also find a bidet useful, as water pressure can produce a better clean.

Hemorrhoids or anal fissures

If you find that your anal area is itching at night, it’s possible that you might be experiencing hemorrhoids or anal fissures. These are preexisting conditions that may cause itch and could be exacerbated by nighttime use of the toilet, diet, or nighttime sweating.

Diet

A number of foods can irritate the anus and produce an itch. This includes, but is not limited, to:

  • spices and spicy foods
  • coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated)
  • tea
  • soda
  • milk
  • alcoholic beverages (especially beer and wine)
  • chocolate
  • citrus fruits
  • vitamin C tablets
  • tomatoes

If you’re experiencing an itchy anus, consider temporarily cutting the above food and drink from your diet for 48 hours to see if you notice a difference.

Sweat

In general, sweat can irritate the skin because it contributes to heat retention and dryness of the skin.

Itchiness at night can be more prevalent because of night sweats. Combatting the cause of night sweats can relieve itching around the bum and anus.

Some tips include:

Medications taken before bed

A side effect of some medications can be itchiness. Read and understand the side effects of any medication you’re taking.

Examples of medications that may contribute to nighttime anal itching are blood pressure medications and antibiotics. When antibiotics kill the “good bacteria” in your gut, you may experience diarrhea. Diarrhea may worsen the symptoms of anal itching

Clothing fabric

Fabrics that are tight and restrictive can cause irritation. Try wearing 100 percent cotton, loose underwear to combat itching around your bum at night.

Threadworms

Threadworms (pinworms) are parasitic worms that infect human digestive systems. They cause the most itchiness at night when females are laying their eggs around the anus. Threadworms are able to survive on clothing and bed sheets, which provides the opportunity to transfer the worms from one person to another.

They are most common in children and can be detected by doing a stool sample. Threadworms can be treated with medication and a routine of strict hygiene measures.

Skin conditions

Many people experience skin diseases on their bodies. This includes your buttocks and anus, which are not exempt from psoriasis, eczema, and others.

Consider seeing a dermatologist to rule out skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema if you have the following symptoms around your anus:

  • pain
  • redness
  • itchiness
  • flakiness
  • irritation

When menstruating, it’s considered safest to sleep with a menstrual pad. The added moisture from menstruating at night can contribute to increased itch and irritation around the anus, vagina, and buttocks.

Throughout the day, remember to change your pads every 4 hours and to keep your underwear fresh. At nighttime, opt for extra-absorbent pads or menstrual cups to keep added moisture or discomfort at bay.

Yeast infections may occur in and near the vagina, penis, or anus, and may contribute to nighttime itching.

Additionally, common symptoms of several sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may include itching of the vagina, penis, and anus. If you’re sexually active, participate in regular STD testing.

Nighttime sex can also be a contributor to vaginal itchiness at night. If you are noticing extra itchiness after intercourse, consider the following tips:

  • regulate your vaginal pH
  • use lubrication to combat dryness

Children can be particularly susceptible to experiencing itchiness around their bottoms at night. The following items are likely causes:

  • threadworms
  • poor hygienic practices (including improper washing of hands and wiping of anus)
  • toy sharing (which can contribute to the spread of bacteria and threadworms)

While there are several possible causes for an itchy bum at night, most symptoms can be relieved with the following tips.

Topical Remedies

For immediate relief, the use of ointments or gels can be an effective way to minimize nighttime anal itching.

  • zinc oxide ointment
  • petroleum jelly
  • hydrocortisone 1-percent cream

Wearing breathable fabrics to bed

Wearing breathable underwear at night is important for maintaining comfort.

Keeping cool at night

Try combating night sweats by avoiding alcohol before bed, keeping your bedroom cool, and using breathable sheets.

Employing safer hygiene practices

Being intentional about your hygiene can both improve and solve symptoms of nighttime itching around the anus:

  • Thoroughly wash hands following bathroom use to prevent the spread of bacteria to your body and others.
  • Gently wipe the anus after pooping.
  • Consider using wet wipes or a bidet for a more thorough and gentler clean around the anus. Be sure to pat dry.
  • Try to maintain a dry environment around your bum.

Consider making dietary adjustments

A variety of foods and drinks can contribute to anal itching. Consider eliminating spicy food, coffee, and alcohol from your diet temporarily to improve the symptoms of anal itching at night.

While a lot of symptoms of an itchy bum at night are mild, see a doctor if:

  • you have persistent itchiness that doesn’t go away with home remedies
  • you have persistent bleeding, scabbing, or other symptoms around your anus and bum
  • if you suspect that you might have an underlying skin condition, STD, or hemorrhoids
  • if anyone in your family has threadworms

A doctor will be able to help you determine the cause and improve your symptoms.

Bum itchiness can be aggravating when you’re trying to sleep peacefully. You should start seeing improvements in your symptoms by making changes in your day-to-day routine.

By being mindful of your hygienic practices, diet, and sleep environment, you should be able to determine the cause of your nighttime itching. If your nighttime itching persists or worsens, schedule a visit with a doctor for additional advice.

Itchy Skin at Night? Here’s Why It Happens and How to Deal

26-10-2021 · The experts reveal all

26-10-2021

Much like your train being cancelled or spilling coffee down your white top, itchy skin at night is one of those irritations that can seem to come out of nowhere.

So: why do the dark hours sometimes bring the need to scratch relentlessly – and what can you do, to control it?

The vast majority of causes of itchy skin are pretty harmless – but a persistent itch can be a sign of serious conditions. If you are at all worried, book in to see your GP or call NHS 111.

WH called in the experts, to get their knowledge on this nocturnal issue.

Why does my skin itch at night?

A handful of things could be at play. Itching at night can be a symptom of a skin issue like atopic eczema, seborrhoeic dermatitis or psoriasis.

But if that’s the case then you’re likely to know what it is – or at least you have something to show your doctor that can, in most cases, be easily diagnosed.

Why do I get so itchy at night?

The kind of skin itching that happens at night, seemingly out of nowhere, and with no sign of a rash is called nocturnal pruritus. As you'll know if you've dealt with it, it can wreak havoc with your sleep.

A 2016 study explains the various different causes of this itchy skin at night:

1. Your circadian rhythm is doing its thing

As you know, your circadian rhythm governs your sleep-wake cycle: helping you to feel drowsy at night and alert in the morning (unless you're a natural night owl and experience surges of energy later in the day and later at night.) Part of this process means that our core temperature rises in the evening which can increase blood flow to the skin and, in turn, itching.

2. Your skin barrier has been compromised

At night, the heat generated in our body leads to Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), which can also contribute to itching. This is because Trans Epidermal Water Loss can compromise the integrity of your skin barrier, which can therefore allow pruritogens (any substance that causes itching) to enter your skin.

That's not the only way an impacted skin barrier can cause itchy skin at night, though. 'If your skin barrier is compromised and the skin is not in a healthy condition, then any changes in the body or external environment can cause "uncomfortable skin," says celebrity facialist and skin expert, Nataliya Robinson. 'So, itching late at night can be caused by:

  • overly hot showers
  • air-conditioning
  • or central heating present in the room,' she adds.

3. You have creepy crawlies in bed with you

Not to cause alarm, but... 'Nocturnal pruritus is commonly associated with infestations, including scabies and bed bugs,' said the study's authors. The fact that mites are more active at night could cause itching, as can their feces (sorry), as can any infection that they cause on your skin.

4. There are psychological factors at play

The study noted that, in a cross-sectional study of patients who were being treated in a psychiatric ward, 32% reported suffering from itch, of which 24% felt their itch was worse at night. So, there may be a link between some psychological diagnoses and this issue.

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What else can cause extreme itching, without a rash?

5. Hormonal changes

Itchy skin is common 'during pregnancy or after the menopause,' says the NHS. 'This is caused by hormonal changes and usually gets better over time.'

6. Polycythaemia

As to other maybe causes? Dermatologist Dr. Stefanie Williams, founder of the Eudelo skin clinic, also notes that ‘a serious condition called polycythaemia can lead to itching at night.

'Polycythaemia, means having a high concentration of red blood cells, which makes the blood thicker and its flow more sluggish. People with polycythaemia may experience red skin, particularly on the face, hands and feet.

The skin might be itchy, especially after a bath or shower. There might also be bleeding problems such as nosebleeds and easy bruising. Other symptoms may include headaches, tiredness, high blood pressure, blurred vision and tummy pain.’

To note: this condition can cause blood clots. If you think you might have it, head to your GP, sharpish.

7. Some cancers

Not to be alarmist, but it's important to note that a 2018 study monitored almost 17,000 patients and found that patients with skin itching were more likely to have cancer than those without.

Cancers of the liver, gallbladder and biliary tract, hematopoietic system and skin were most strongly associated with skin itching. But, that doesn’t mean that if your skin is itching you have anything else wrong with you.

If you are worried, book an appointment with your GP.

8. Liver problems

Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic disease where progressive inflammation and destruction of the small bile ducts within the liver occurs.

One of the early symptoms of PBC is itching, but it’s not the only one – there is also bone and joint ache, fatigue, tummy pain and a dry eyes and mouth. If you are worried, speak to your GP.

What does it mean when your skin keeps itching?

Any of the factors mentioned above could be the culprit. If you feel you need to speak to a pro, cal NHS 111 or book to speak to your GP.

Does Covid cause itchy skin?

The key symptoms of COVID-19 are, per the NHS, a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. However, other, less prominent symptoms have been reported, as well.

The COVID Symptom Study, led by researchers from King’s College London and health science company ZOE, found that: '8.8% of people reporting a positive coronavirus swab test had experienced a skin rash as part of their symptoms, compared with 5.4% of people with a negative test result.' Some people noted that this rash was 'itchy.' If you suspect that you have COVID-19, as ever, stay at home and take a PCR test as soon as you can.

How can I get rid of itchy skin at night?

1. Antihistamines

That 2016 study mentioned earlier? It outlined the possible causes, but also looks at the best treatments.

It notes that antihistamines can help with nocturnal itching – but that it has to be first-generation antihistamines, i.e. the ones that make you drowsy. If you do want to go down this route, then Piriton is a good choice.

2. Hydrate your skin

This is all about protecting your skin barrier, which, as mentioned before, is key for preventing itching. 'For general itching, having hydrated skin can ease the itching, so have a bath with moistening and calming colloidal oatmeal, as will using an oil-, alcohol- and scent-free hydrator like Cerave,' says Dr Williams.

3. Use a humidifier

'A humidifier in your room will keep skin hydrated while you sleep and finally, try and keep the room temperature constant and cool to stop extra heat,’ she adds.

4. Don't over exfoliate

Robinson notes that avoiding over-exfoliation of the skin’ may help too. Again, this can protect your skin barrier.

5. Visit your GP

If you are at all concerned, do go and see your GP and explain your symptoms.

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thewoolroom.com

The main causes of skin itching at night There are several different factors that can increase the intensity of skin itching at night. These include: Being too warm in bed: leaving the heating on, using a memory foam mattress and sleeping under synthetic bedding can all contribute to making your body overheat while you sleep. This in turn further irritates eczema, resulting in body itching at night and forcing you …

Ever find yourself asking, “why does my skin itch at night?”? Usually out of frustration, this is a thought shared by many. If itching in bed at night is keeping you awake, we’ll help you to understand why that might be, and how you can stop it. Allergies such as eczema are often worse at night for a number of different reasons. To help you understand why you might be experiencing more night-time itching, we’ve put together this guide to help you learn more about the causes of itching at night and, most importantly of all, how to get some relief for better sleep!  

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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 and can cause more night-time itching in bed. A lot of people who suffer from atopic eczema also have other allergy-related conditions, such as hay fever or asthma, although not always.

Choose Wool to Help With Night-Time Itching

There are several different factors that can increase the intensity of skin itching at night. These include:
  • Being too warm in bed: leaving the heating on, using a memory foam mattress and sleeping under synthetic bedding can all contribute to making your body overheat while you sleep. This in turn further irritates eczema, resulting in body itching at night and forcing you to stay awake.
  • Dust mite allergens: 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 in – one that’s warm and moist – exposing you to increased allergens while you sleep.
  • Less distractions: children in particular can become more aware of their skin itching at night, simply because they have fewer distractions to keep them occupied.
  • While eczema is often the cause of your body itching at night, there are a number of other conditions that can trigger similar symptoms too. 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 are also causes of itching at night. If you have not already been diagnosed with eczema, you should speak with your doctor about your night-time itching symptoms to rule out any other causes.

Woman Using Wool Bedding to Help Night-Time Itching

Looking for ways to stop eczema itching at night? Here are a few tips to try:

Create a cool sleeping environment

Avoid overheating at night by making a few changes to your bedroom. Some effective ways to keep cool while you sleep include:

How to Stop Itching at Night with Woolroom

If you think that dust mite allergens might the cause of your skin itching at night, there are several steps you can take to keep them out of your bedroom. 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. Other methods for reducing allergens in your home include:
  • Turn the central heating down or off: and keep a window open (unless pollen is trigger for you) or a fan running to manage air temperatures.
  • Choose pyjamas in natural materials: this is a great natural remedy for night-time itching. Swap polyester sleepwear for cotton or silk alternatives that will help you stay cooler throughout the night.
  • Swap your memory foam mattress for a heat-regulating alternative: natural fibres are more effective for keeping cool and deterring allergens.
  • Keep your emollient cream to hand: it won’t make your bedroom cooler, but it will help to quickly cool and soothe night-time itching if you do wake.
  • Replace synthetic carpets with pure wool or hardwood flooring.
  • Swap synthetic bedding for wool-filled alternatives, as dust mites can’t live in the dry, cool environment created by a wool-filled duvet, pillows and mattress protector.
  • Keep feather/down or synthetic-filled cushions out of the bedroom, or replace them with wool-filled versions.
  If you’re still wondering “why does my skin itch at night?”, or you suspect that you have eczema but have not been diagnosed, seek advice from your doctor. 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. Now you know how to stop itching at night, you can finally get some good quality shut-eye!

Looking for more information on tackling night-time allergies or other sleep problems? Discover tips in our Sleep Health & Advice Hub.

Why does my skin itch at night?

Sara P.A dermatologist based in Canada. Overview Up to 65% of patients with inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria, have reported increased itching at night. Unexplained itchy skin at night can disrupt even the deepest sleepers. But rest assured, nighttime itching, or nocturnal pruritus, is a …

Common causes of  itching are insect bites, infections such as ringworm or itching, and allergies to plants or metals in jewelry.

You can blame nocturnal itching in part on your body’s circadian rhythms. These are cycles that repeat every 24 hours, controlled by a “master clock” in the brain. Circadian rhythms influence sleepiness and wakefulness, hormonal activity, hunger, digestion and body temperature, among other things.

Nighttime itching can be a symptom of a skin condition such as atopic eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, or psoriasis. 

Sometimes bedding can also cause allergies, and wearing clothes made from synthetic fabrics such as nylon or polyester can cause itching all over your body.

Your body temperature and blood flow naturally increase during the night to keep you warm. This rise in heat against the surface of the skin can cause you to feel itchy.

During the day, we are under what's called higher cortical executive control, meaning our brain is working hard to deal with the minute-to-minute decisions of life. In the evening, when these distractions are reduced and our attention is more singular, you're more likely to notice itching that may have been an annoyance you dismissed during the day.

Like it or not, a few natural factors of getting older can contribute to nocturnal pruritus. Dry skin, a decrease in immune function, and neural degeneration can increase the irritability of itchy skin.

Not only can the subsequent dryness cause itchy skin, Dr. Hart says, but a disrupted skin barrier also makes it easier for itch-causing substances (known as pruritogens) to be exposed. This is because the loss of transepidermal water can compromise the integrity of the skin barrier, which can then allow pruritus (any substance that causes itching) to enter the skin.

Wool, chemicals, soaps, and other substances can irritate the skin and cause rashes and itching. 

There are also non-dermatological conditions that can cause itchy skin at night, such as restless legs syndrome (which can cause legs to itch at night), diabetes and thyroid problems, as well as kidney disease and skin cancer.

Why Does Dermatitis Itch At Night?

It’s bad enough coping with itchy, dry or inflamed skin during the day, but add sleepless nights to the mix, and dermatitis can become tortuous. It’s bad enough coping with itchy, dry or inflamed skin during the day, but add sleepless nights to the mix, and dermatitis can become tortuous. × Success. To receive 10% off your first order, simply enter your discount code below during checkout ...

Up to 80% of atopic dermatitis sufferers struggle with night-time itching, and it’s a very common problem for anyone with dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin.

The first step in beating anything is to understand it, and understanding why dermatitis gets so itchy when you’re trying to sleep is fundamental to overcoming the problem. So what’s going on that makes dermatitis or eczema so very irritating at night?

The answer is that it’s a combination of a few different things!

Have a look at this list of possible explanations and see if any apply to you.

  • Sleep cycles mean you naturally go through waves of deeper sleep, lighter sleep and periods of wakefulness in any given night; in the more awake phases, you may become dimly aware of the itch sensation and start scratching...
  • ...and if/when you fall back to sleep, you can’t control unconscious scratching that’s been set off! Of course, the more you scratch the itchier you feel!
  • Your temperature rises in the evening to prepare for sleep, which can affect how itchy your skin feels and trigger an itchy spell just before bed.
  • Your production of cytokines (which aggravate inflammation) increases at night.
  • Your emollients need to be applied every few hours to help prevent dehydration and itchiness; you can’t reapply them if you’re asleep.
  • You may be sensitive to something you’re using before bed: your shampoo, bubble bath, or shower gel could be causing a reaction and setting off a flare.
  • If your bed linen or pyjamas aren’t 100% natural you could be reacting to synthetic fabric next to your skin.
  • If you’ve had a drink before bed, you might be reacting to the alcohol or caffeine, even if your bedtime tipple was only a cup of tea!
  • Trans-epidermal water loss increases at night; the drier your skin, the more chance your dermatitis will flare up overnight.
Managing the night-time itch
  • Apply emollients before bed: emollient ointments keep the skin more hydrated than creams or lotions
  • If you bathe before going to bed, follow the 'soak and seal' routine: pat skin just barely dry, then seal in the moisture with an emollient (balm, cream or oil) within three minutes of getting out of the bath or shower.
  • Keep your room cool with fans or open windows if possible
  • Try a humidifier if your room is too dry
  • Sleep in natural fabrics
  • Wet or dry wrap if necessary
  • Banish pets from the bedroom!
  • Pollen-proof your room in high season, by getting changed out of outdoor clothes in the bathroom and keeping windows closed
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol before bed

---

For more tips and tricks on getting a good night’s sleep, read Ruth Holroyd's Sleep Tips For The Eczema-Prone on our Info Hub!

Recommended products for itchy skin:

Skin Salvation balm with beeswax, hemp & chamomile (from £7.99 for 30ml): particularly recommended for use with wet or dry wraps

Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea butter, hemp & calendula (from £13.99 for 100ml): a great, all-over cream for easy application during the night

Balmonds Bath & Body Oil with lavender, hemp & chamomile (£12.99 for 200ml): great for smoothing on immediately after bathing

Balmonds Scalp Oil with tea tree, borage & rosemary (£14.99 for 50ml): for itchy scalps

Balmonds Cooling Cream with lavender, aloe & menthol (£19 for 100ml): to calm flushed or overheated skin

Important Note

If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.

If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.

Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.

What Causes Itching All Over

11-01-2019 · Are you feeling itchy or tingling all over the body? You may be experiencing a skin-related issue like dermatitis or eczema, an allergic reaction from a certain food or plant, or you may be having a symptom of anxiety or depression. Unexplained itching all over the body can also be caused by kidney disease or scabies. Read below for more causes and how to treat itching or tingling all over.

11-01-2019

Since formication does not have an obvious physical cause, many people who suffer from chronic formication often have a psychiatric etiology contributing to their symptoms. A psychiatric disorder is that relating to mental illness.

  • Delusions: Some people may suffer from delusional infestations in which they have the fixed, false belief (delusion) that they are infected by parasites, worms, mites, bacteria, fibers or other living organisms despite no evidence of an infection or infestation.
  • Hallucinations: Some people may suffer from the hallucination (experience of something not there) of bugs or insects crawling on or under the skin. Such individuals may see the bugs on their skin when there is nothing actually there.
  • Toxins: Substance abuse can often cause sensations of crawling on the head and under the skin. Chronic alcohol use and withdrawal and long-term cocaine and amphetamine abuse are common precipitants of these symptoms — the term “cocaine bugs” is heavily described in the literature.

Environmental causes

There are many environmental causes that can trigger full body sensations of itching or tingling all over.

  • Parasites: Small, parasitic insects such as lice that feed on their host's blood and propagate by personal contact are a very common cause of such symptoms. They can inhabit the head, body, and even pubic area and cause sensations of tickling or movement in addition to intense itching.
  • Medication: Certain prescription drugs, corticosteroids and some antibiotics, for example, may induce pruritus, formication, and associated symptoms.

This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis means a skin reaction that is caused by directly touching an irritating substance, and not by an infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus.

Common causes are soap, bleach, cleaning agents, chemicals, and even water. Almost any substance can cause it with prolonged exposure. Contact dermatitis is not contagious.

Anyone who works with an irritating substance can contract the condition. Mechanics, beauticians, housekeepers, restaurant workers, and health care providers are all susceptible.

Symptoms include skin that feels swollen, stiff, and dry, and becomes cracked and blistered with painful open sores.

A medical provider can give the best advice on how to heal the skin and avoid further irritation. Self-treatment can make the problem worse if the wrong creams or ointments are used.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, to find out what substances the patient comes into contact with, and through physical examination of the damaged skin.

Treatment involves avoiding the irritating substance if possible. Otherwise, the person can use petroleum jelly on the hands underneath cotton and then rubber gloves.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash

Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis: rash with well-defined border

Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that produces an itchy rash. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin's ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens. The most susceptible are those with a family hi..

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is long-term damage to the kidneys, the organs responsible for producing urine. Causes of chronic kidney disease include diabetes, hypertension, kidney infections, and inflammatory diseases, medications or toxins, inherited kidney diseases, and pre..

Chronic hepatitis c

Chronic hepatitis C is a liver inflammation caused by Hepacivirus C.

If someone is infected with hepatitis C and gets the acute form of the disease, there is about a 50% chance of the disease becoming chronic. This means that the virus remains in the body after the acute, short-term disease is over, and may or may not cause further illness.

Some patients have no symptoms of chronic hepatitis C until years later, when liver damage has developed and the signs of cirrhosis (scarring) begin to appear. Hepatitis C can also lead to liver cancer.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests.

Treatment for chronic hepatitis C involves taking medications prescribed by the physician; avoiding alcohol; and using no supplements or prescription medications without a doctor's clearance. In some cases, a liver transplant will be needed to save the patient's life.

The best prevention is to never share needles, toothbrushes, or other personal care items, and to always practice safe sex. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, joint pain

Symptoms that never occur with chronic hepatitis c: pain in the lower right abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen, pain in the upper left abdomen, pain around the belly button

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Hives

Hives, or urticaria, are flat red welts that can appear anywhere on the skin and usually itch. Hives often occur as an allergic reaction to something eaten or something that has contacted the skin. Foods, medicines, and plants are common causes, but sun exposure, stress, infections, and autoimmune diseases have also been...

Psoriasis

Psoriasis causes an overgrowth of surface skin cells, creating a red, scaly, itchy, and painful rash.

It is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack its own healthy skin cells. It may be genetic in origin but triggered by anything that further strains the immune system, such as infections, skin injury, alcohol consumption, obesity, smoking, and stress.

Symptoms may come and go in cycles lasting weeks or months. They include red patches of thickened skin, sometimes with gray-white scales; dry, cracked, bleeding skin; stiff and swollen joints; and thickened, misshapen nails.

It is important to see a medical provider for care, because psoriasis can interfere with quality of life. It is associated with higher risk of arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

Treatment involves different combinations of topical medications, oral medications, and phototherapy with natural or artificial light. Lifestyle changes such as improved diet, quitting smoking, and managing stress are very helpful in many cases.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, rash with well-defined border, painful rash, scaly rash

Symptoms that never occur with psoriasis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Head lice

Anyone can develop head lice if they have the parasite Pediculus humanus capitis living on their scalp. Head lice is a very common condition. It affects people worldwide, of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and is predominantly seen in children. Symptoms include scalp itchiness, visible marks from itching, and ..

Overactive thyroid

The thyroid is a small, bow-tie shaped gland in your neck. Its main job is to produce thyroid hormone (known as T3 or T4), which serves a wide array of functions throughout the body.

When too much thyroid hormone is released, the body’s metabolism gets ramped up, causing symptoms ..

Scabies

Scabies is a rash caused by the microscopic human itch mite. It burrows into the top layer of skin to feed and causes severe itching and irritation.

The mite spreads through direct contact or through infested bedding or furniture. It can infect anyone, though most susceptible are:

  • Children.
  • Sexually active young adults.
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system.
  • Patients in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Symptoms include intense itching, especially at night, and a rash of tiny red bumps. Scratching may cause the rash to form sores, scales, or crusts. The rash most often forms between the fingers, in the folds of the wrists and elbows, and any place normally covered by clothing.

It is important to get treatment because the scratching can cause an infection in the skin. In children, mites can cover nearly the entire body.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and skin test.

Treatment involves a prescription for skin cream. Everyone who has come into contact with the affected person must be treated, even if they show no symptoms.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: vaginal itch or burning, vulvovaginal redness, feeling itchy or tingling all over, butt itch, elbow itch

Urgency: Primary care doctor

newhealthadvisor.org

26-03-2019 · Itchy bottom at night can be caused by various conditions such as too much moisture or hemorrhoids. A good handling of the anus and soothing creams can be of help.

26-03-2019

Pruritus anioranusitis or simply itchy bottom is irritation of the anus. Sometimes, it also causes inflammation of the anus and complicates things a bit. Itching severity may vary from person to person, but certain factors can make things worse, such as your sitting posture and the type of clothing worn. Excessive pressure on the anal area may also exacerbate things a bit. Itchy bottom at night can make you extremely uncomfortable and interrupt your sleep. What you need to understand is that it is not a disease in itself, but may be an indication of an underlying health condition.

Possible Reasons Why You Have Itchy Bottom at Night

Resisting the temptation to scratch your bottom can be quite tough. It can be quite embarrassing to do it in front of others, but some people find it intolerable. To find a treatment option, you first need to identify the causes of your condition.

1.        Too Much Moisture

You are more likely to develop anal itching if moisture levels around your anal area are high. This could be due to diarrhea, allergies, over-sweating, fecal incontinence, or inappropriate clothing.

2.        Hemorrhoids

You have hemorrhoids if the veins in your rectum or around the anus are inflamed or swollen. Hemorrhoids can develop externally or internally. If you have hemorrhoids, this may explain why you have itchy bottom at night.

3.        Skin Conditions

Your chances of developing anal itching increase when you have an existing skin condition, such as seborrhea, eczema, or psoriasis. You may also experience itching on other parts of your body.

4.        Rough Handling

Not cleaning your bottom properly after using the bathroom may well be among the reasons why you have developed anal itching. Abrasive rubbing using low-quality toilet paper may irritate your skin and lead to itching. Over-washing the anal area may also result in the same. Similarly, you may be using douches, soaps, or body sprays that contain harsh chemicals. These chemicals can irritate your skin and lead to anal itching.

5.        Threadworms

Also known as pinworms, threadworms are tiny worms no longer than 13mm in most cases. They live in the lower part of your bowel and can creep out of the anus and lay thousands of eggs on the skin of the anus. These eggs can contribute to itchy bottom at night. When you use your fingers for scratching, these eggs may lodge under your nails. It is easy to swallow these eggs when you bring your hands closer to your mouth. This will re-infect your gut and the problem continues. If other people in your family have the same issue, this could be due to threadworms.

6.        Other Conditions

Several underlying health conditions may also result in itchy bottom. For instance:

  • STDs: Sexually transmitted infections can cause anal itching as well as genital itching in many cases.
  • Forced bowel movement: This usually happens when you have constipation. This puts serious strain on your anus and may even lead to a small tear (an anal abrasion) or a deeper tear (an anal fissure). This will eventual cause anal itching.

How to Deal with Itchy Bottom at Night

Now that you know what causes the embarrassing itchiness, it is possible to take some steps and resolve the problem. In most cases, you can treat this problem by taking simple self-care measures. Here are some simple measures to prevent your bottom itching.

1.        Keep Clean and Dry

As mentioned already, one of the biggest causes of anal itching is high moisture levels around anal area. It is therefore important to take steps to keep this area clean and dry. Here is what to do:

  • Use water to clean your anus gently after having a bowel movement and do the same before going to bed.
  • Use only mild soap to clean your bottom to avoid skin irritation.
  • Dry your bottom gently after every wash. Never rub it vigorously. Pat drying with a soft towel will do.
  • Use a hair dryer if you want to be absolutely sure that your anal area is dry – use it on a low heat setting.
  • Use damp toilet paper after using a public toilet and pat your bottom dry.
  • Place a cotton tissue in your underwear if you have a tendency to sweat a lot.

2.        Self-Care Measures

Here are some other tips to keep you from dealing with itchy bottom at night.

  • Always use soft toilet paper.
  • Take a bath daily.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes with cotton underwear.
  • Try a light duvet before going to bed at night.
  • Never use scented soaps, perfumed, or bubble bath.
  • Keep your fingernails trimmed and wear cotton gloves at night to avoid causing any damage when scratching unintentionally.

3.        Diet

Paying attention to your diet will also play a big role in keeping you from facing problems like itchy bottom at night. You should avoid eating spicy foods, tomatoes, chocolate, nuts, coffee, dairy products, and citrus fruits because they can make your itchy bottom worse.

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4.        Medication

While you may find relief from self-care measures, you may consider trying medications if problem persists. There are topical treatments to help resolve the issue, but avoid using these creams for more than two weeks.

  • Soothing ointments: You can find OTC soothing creams or your doctor may prescribe one. You have to apply it directly on the skin around your anus before going to bed and after you wake up in the morning. You may have to use it after every bowel movement.
  • Topical corticosteroids: Your doctor may prescribe a mild topical corticosteroid to alleviate pain, itching, and inflammation. Be sure to talk to your doctor if these medications make your itching worse.
  • Antihistamines: You may benefit from antihistamines if your anal itching is due to an allergic reaction. Your doctor may prescribe hydroxyzine or chlorphenamine to reduce anal itching at night. They may only work for a couple of weeks though.

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Why Do I Feel So Itchy?

Stress, heat, exercise, or exposure to the sun can also bring them out. See a photo of what hives look like. Psoriasis: It makes your body overproduce skin cells, which pile up in itchy, inflamed...

You might have an itch that must be scratched. Or a tickle on your back that you can’t reach. It’s often hard to pin down just what’s causing it. It may be as simple as the clothes you wear. But it can also be a symptom of something more serious, like a rash or an illness.

Start with the simplest solutions. Try a different fabric, take care of your skin, and avoid anything that seems to trigger the itch. If that doesn’t help, ask your doctor, who will check on the cause and the treatment you need.

Is Your Skin Dry?

If your skin is dry, it will let you know with an itch. It can be especially bad in the winter and in places where the air is dry. As you get older, it becomes even more common.

To ease the itch of dry skin:

  • Use moisturizer after you bathe while your skin is still damp and again after you change clothes.
  • Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Use a humidifier.
  • Make your shower quick, and don’t use very hot water.
  • Use mild, hydrating soaps.

Learn more about how to prevent itching caused by dry skin.

Is There a Rash?

If you start scratching and find a rash, it’s likely the problem is in your skin. It can happen because of:

Fungal and bacterial infections like impetigo and folliculitis. See a photo of what impetigo looks like.

Bugs: When you get bitten by a mosquito or spider, you know it. Bites from bedbugs and mites can be harder to diagnose because they look like rashes. Lice can cause a crawling sensation in your scalp or pubic hair, along with an intense itch. See a photo of what bedbug bites look like.

Eczema or atopic dermatitis: It shows up on your skin as dry, scaly patches or a bumpy rash. It isn’t clear what causes it, but it’s extremely itchy. Kids are more likely to get it if their family has a history of asthma and allergies. Certain food allergies can make it worse. So does scratching. See a photo of what eczema looks like.

Contact dermatitis: This itchy rash is caused by a reaction to something touching your skin. You may have to do some detective work to figure out where it’s coming from. It could be the metals in your jewelry or the chemicals in cosmetics, toiletries, and cleaning products. Poison ivy is also a form of contact dermatitis. Stop using or wearing whatever you think might be the cause and see if the itching gets better. See a photo of what a poisonous plant rash looks like.

Is It Beneath the Surface?

Your skin may let you know when something is not quite right inside your body. This itch can be a symptom of deeper problems.

Hives: You get them from allergies. They look like raised welts that show up alone or in clusters, and they are usually itchy. Stress, heat, exercise, or exposure to the sun can also bring them out. See a photo of what hives look like.

Psoriasis: It makes your body overproduce skin cells, which pile up in itchy, inflamed patches on the skin’s surface. This is a result of an overactive immune system. See a photo of what psoriasis looks like.

Pregnancy: More than 1 in 10 pregnant women say itching is a problem. The reasons range from harmless rashes to more serious conditions. Learn more about skin conditions in pregnancy.

Medications: Some may make your skin itch, even with no signs of a rash or irritation. Check with your doctor if the itch becomes too uncomfortable. These drugs are known to make you start scratching.

  • Certain high blood pressure drugs called ACE inhibitors
  • Allopurinol for gout
  • Amiodarone for heart rhythm problems
  • Pills called diuretics that relieve bloating
  • Estrogen
  • Hydroxyethyl cellulose (used during surgery)
  • Prescription pain drugs called opioids
  • Simvastatin for high cholesterol
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium

Is It Related to Your Nerves?

Your nervous system can get confused when it’s sick and accidentally tell the nerves on the skin to start itching when there’s nothing there to cause it. There is no rash. But your skin may appear irritated if you’ve been scratching a lot. You can get it from:

  • Shingles
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumor
  • Nerve damage

Is It Psychological?

If your doctor can’t find a physical cause, it may be in your mind. Some mental conditions give people the urge to scratch or pick at themselves. They may feel like their skin is crawling with something. There is no rash, but there may be skin damage from scratching. Compulsive scratching can be a sign of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Trichotillomania

Learn more about skin picking disorder.

Unlikely, but Possible

Itchiness usually has a simple, common cause. But in some cases, if it doesn’t go away, could be a sign of a serious illness, such as:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain cancers, particularly Hodgkin’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Iron deficiency
  • HIV

You might also start itching after the treatments for some of these illnesses. Kidney dialysis, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy have it as a side effect. Learn more about chemotherapy side effects.

health.harvard.edu

Itching, also called pruritus, is often associated with a rash, as with poison ivy. But this guide is about itching without a rash. This guide is not intended to replace a face-to-face meeting with your doctor about these symptoms. In fact, many causes of itching require an in-person examination and testing.

Welcome to this symptom guide about itching. We're sorry to hear you have this problem!

Itching is a common symptom and it can be caused by a number of different conditions. This guide will cover some of the most common, but it is not exhaustive -- rarer causes will not be covered. Itching, also called pruritus, is often associated with a rash, as with poison ivy. But this guide is about itching without a rash.

This guide is not intended to replace a face-to-face meeting with your doctor about these symptoms. In fact, many causes of itching require an in-person examination and testing. However, this guide may be particularly helpful while awaiting a visit to your doctor or after your initial evaluation.

Okay, let's get started.

Along with itching, do you have any of the following?

- Trouble breathing

- Unintentional weight loss

- Enlarging lumps (or "glands") under the skin

- Reduced urination

- Yellow tinge to the eyes or skin

Yes, I have one or more of those.

Nope, I have none of those.

Good, that makes some of the more serious causes of itching less likely. For example, people with severe allergic reactions or kidney disease can have itching without rash along with one or more of those symptoms.

Okay, the next question deals with the possibility of a mild allergic reaction.

Have you recently started a new medicine or had exposure to something new on your skin (such as a new soap, perfume, or lotion)?

Yes, I have.

No, I haven't.

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Itchy Skin At Night: Causes, Prevention, & Treatment

15-04-2021 · How To Manage Itchy Skin At Night. Here are some ways to soothe itchy skin at night: Limit your shower time to 5-10 minutes daily. Ensure to use lukewarm water. Avoid frequent soap application to avoid dryness. Apply an unscented moisturizing lotion or cream all over your body every day right after showering.

15-04-2021

Did you ever felt a prickly sensation on your skin right after you dozed off? You may feel it is a rash or an insect bite, but you do not find anything on your skin! No, it is not your imagination. This condition is called nocturnal pruritis.

Factors like fluctuations in body temperature and the circadian rhythm and dermatological conditions may cause itchy skin at night. While you may get itchy skin any time during the body€™s natural sleep or wake cycle, it is most likely to happen while you are asleep. This article explores the reasons behind it and what you can do to manage nocturnal pruritis. Read on.

Causes Of Itchy Skin At Night

You may experience nocturnal itchiness due to natural, environmental, and underlying health-related factors.

Natural Causes Of Itchiness At Night

1. Thermoregulatory Variations

Fluctuation in the body€™s natural temperature rhythm may cause nighttime itchiness (1). The body temperature is regulated by the circadian rhythm of your body (a process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle). The core temperature is maximum during the early evening and minimal during the early morning. The temperature also fluctuates as per the sleep stages. The itch intensity rises with increasing body temperature.

2. Transepidermal Water Loss

The skin barrier function alters while you are asleep, causing itchiness. Your skin loses moisture during sleep. This is also known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which impairs the skin barrier function and lets the pruritogens (substances causing itchiness) into your system. This phenomenon is commonly seen in those who have atopic dermatitis (1).

3. Low Corticosteroid Levels

The body produces corticosteroids that help control and suppress inflammatory and allergic responses. However, after evening, the corticosteroid levels decrease in the body, reducing the natural anti-inflammatory response. This may cause itchiness at night (1).

Apart from physiological changes, environmental factors can worsen the condition at night.

Environmental Factors Causing Nighttime Itching

Itchy skin is triggered by exposure to environmental factors like:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Dust

Sometimes, the chemicals or dyes in your laundry detergents, scented soaps, and skin care products may also cause itchiness and those sudden bumps on the skin. Apart from these, hot showers, air conditioning, and central heating system can dry out the skin and cause itching.

A vitamin D deficiency in the body is also associated with persistent itching and dry, red skin (2).

1. Skin Cancer

As frightening as it can sound, itchy skin can sometimes be a sign of cancer. A study at the John Hopkins Health System found that patients with pruritis or itching are most likely to have cancers of the skin, gallbladder, liver, biliary tract, and hematopoietic system (3).

If itching is accompanied by any unusual and persistent skin growth, rash, or sore, see a board-certified dermatologist immediately.

2. Polycythaemia

Polycythaemia is a condition in which the body has a high concentration of red blood cells that make the blood thick. As a result, it cannot easily travel through the blood vessels and reach the organs. Patients with this condition often experience itching as they may also have high concentration white blood cells that release histamine (4).

3. Other Conditions

A chronic itch may sometimes indicate other diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, HIV, overactive thyroid gland, or liver diseases like obstructed bile duct, hepatitis C, or cirrhosis.

Apart from this, you may get itchy skin at night during pregnancy due to fluctuating hormone levels in your body (5). As women age and approach menopause, problems like sweating, hot flashes, and itchiness may become prevalent.

Consult a dermatologist if you suspect an underlying health condition is causing itchiness. However, if it is just an occasional itch, these remedies may provide relief.

How To Manage Itchy Skin At Night

Here are some ways to soothe itchy skin at night:

  1. Limit your shower time to 5-10 minutes daily. Ensure to use lukewarm water. Avoid frequent soap application to avoid dryness.
  2. Apply an unscented moisturizing lotion or cream all over your body every day right after showering.
  3. If you have a rash or your skin is inflamed and red, consult a dermatologist and use itch-relieving ointments, such as non-prescription corticosteroid cream. Calamine lotion and creams with camphor and menthol may also provide temporary relief.
  4. Use a humidifier to maintain the moisture level inside your room or home. This will prevent dryness, allergens, irritants, and germs.
  5. Drink plenty of water as dehydration causes dry skin and may lead to itchiness. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water to keep your skin well-hydrated.

Apart from these few general tips to relieve itching at night, you may also try natural remedies to manage irritation and itch.

Home Remedies To Manage Itchy Skin At Night

1. Take An Oatmeal Bath

Applying colloidal oatmeal (powdered oats) moisturizes the skin, maintains the skin barrier function, and relieves dryness (6). To prepare an oatmeal bath, fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and mix a cup of powdered oatmeal. Soak in this for at least 20 to 30 minutes and rinse your body with water. Do not apply soap.

2. Apply A Cold Compress

A cold compress relieves itching or inflammation and provides temporary relief. It helps slow down the nerve endings and reduces the sensation of itch. You may leave the cold compress or ice pack on for around 10 to 15 minutes or until your itch subsides.

3. Try Baking Soda

Baking soda is another inexpensive remedy to relieve itchy skin and mild to moderate psoriasis (7). The National Eczema Association recommends adding a quarter cup of baking soda to your bath to relieve itching (8). However, do not soak in it for more than 5-10 minutes as it has exfoliating properties. Always follow up with a fragrance-free moisturizing lotion.

4. Try Wet Wrap Therapy

The therapy involves wearing clothing or placing water-soaked gauze on the affected area and covering it with a dry clothing layer. As the water from the clothes or gauze evaporates, it cools the skin down and relieves itching and inflammation.

5. Take An ACV Bath

Anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar may effectively ease inflammation and itching. It helps maintain the pH balance of the skin and may relieve itching.

To make an ACV bath, add a cup of apple cider vinegar to five gallons of warm bathwater and soak in it for at least 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat your skin dry.

While treatments and home remedies can be helpful, there are a few things you should avoid doing if you have itchy skin at night.

What Not To Do To Prevent Itchy Skin At Night

  • Do not go to bed wearing tight or uncomfortable clothes that can irritate your skin.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine before bed. Both can widen your blood vessels, warm up the body, and intensify itching.
  • Do not sleep in a warm or muggy room, as overheating can make your body itch. Always keep the temperature in your room at around 60°F to 65°F.
  • Do not use scented soaps, creams, and other cosmetics. Synthetic fragrances can irritate the skin.
  • Do not scratch the affected area as it may lead to scars, infections, and wounds. Keep your fingernails short to avoid accidental scratches.

You can prevent skin rashes and itching by making a few simple lifestyle changes. Unless it is caused by an underlying condition, follow the tips to prevent nighttime itchiness.

Tips To Prevent Itchy Skin At Night

  • Reduce anxiety and stress as they can aggravate symptoms like burning sensation and itching. Try to relax, meditate, or do deep breathing exercises.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Get some exercise to improve blood circulation and maintain your endocrine health that balances the hormone levels.
  • Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diets, such as berries, fatty fish, and foods rich in vitamins B, C, D, and E.
  • Wash your bedcovers, blankets, sheets, and pillowcases regularly to eliminate dust mites and other allergens.

Other Tips For Itch Prevention

If you have any skin condition or experience excessive itching at night,

  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
  • Try natural nutritional supplements, such as turmeric, zinc, and fish oils, to help relieve itching, dryness, and skin inflammation (9), (10).

However, consult a doctor before taking any supplements and if the condition persists.

When To See A Doctor

If your itching lasts longer than two weeks and does not improve with home treatment, consult a doctor or dermatologist. They may evaluate you for skin disease and other related conditions and ask for medical tests. Based on the diagnosis, the doctor will recommend treatment and medications to relieve your condition.

The Final Take

Managing nocturnal pruritis can be quite a challenge. It disrupts your sleep, affecting your overall health and quality of your life. Ensure that you take care of your skin, moisturize it, and maintain your body’s hydration levels. These simple measures help provide relief and regain a sense of control.

Recommended Articles

References:

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Itching without a rash: 8 possible causes and treatments

10-07-2019 · Most people associate itchy skin with a rash, but many factors can cause itchy skin without creating a visible rash or skin changes. In this article, we discuss the possible causes and treatments of…

10-07-2019

Itching and rashes are symptoms that seem to go together. However, it is possible to experience itchy skin without having a visible rash or any noticeable skin changes.

The causes of skin itching, or pruritis, are usually harmless. They are often linked with temporary issues, such as dry skin or a bug bite.

Less commonly, problems with the nerves, kidneys, thyroid, or liver can cause itching sensations without necessarily causing a rash.

Depending on the cause, a person may experience an itching sensation all over their body or in one specific area. The itching can vary from mild to extreme.

If a person is concerned about unexplained itching, extreme itching, or itching that lasts a long time, they should see their doctor to determine the cause and get advice about treatments.

This article will explore eight potential causes of itching without a rash and the various treatment options available.

woman itching without rashShare on Pinterest
When skin loses moisture, it can become itchy.

Dry skin, or xerosis, is a very common complaint. The skin can start to feel itchy when it loses moisture.

Dry skin can present as flaky or scaly. It is common among older adults, especially during the colder months.

The following tips can help relieve dry skin and prevent it from drying out further:

  • Avoid using soaps with harsh chemicals, as these can dry out the skin. Instead, try to use hypoallergenic and fragrance free soaps and skin care products.
  • Use a humidifier at home to add moisture to the air. This helps prevent winter related dry skin.
  • Apply moisturizer regularly, especially after getting out of the shower or bath. Vaseline or heavy creams such as Vanicream or Cerave are popular options.
  • Avoid taking showers that are longer than 10 minutes. Also, keep the water lukewarm rather than hot.
  • Do not bathe multiple times per day.
  • Avoid scratching dry skin, as this can damage the skin’s surface. If the skin breaks, a person is more likely to experience scarring and infection.

Mosquito, spider, and other bug bites can make skin around the bite feel itchy and irritated.

Bug bites can leave behind a very small hole or pinprick-like area. However, they can be so small that a person may experiencing itching but not see the actual bites.

Many bugs can bite a person — including bed bugs, mosquitos, and lice — and the treatments can vary depending on the type of bug that caused the bite.

If a person experiences continued itching after a bug bite or bites, they should see their doctor.

Avoid scratching the area, as this can make the itching worse. Also, do not use over-the-counter topical antibiotics such as Neosporin, as some people can develop an allergic reaction on their skin.

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Itching skin can be a side effect of some medications.

Itchy skin is a common side effect of many medications. This can occur with or without a rash. Not every person will experience this side effect when taking these medications, however.

The following drugs have itching skin as a possible side effect:

  • prescription pain relievers in the opioid category, such as acetaminophen, morphine, and fentanyl
  • some medications that lower blood pressure

If a person suspects that a medication is causing itching skin, they should speak to a doctor before coming off the drug. The doctor can advise about the best course of action and alternative medications if needed.

Sometimes, a doctor may halt the current medication to see whether that is causing the itching. At other times, they may recommend taking diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or hydroxyzine to reduce itching symptoms.

Nerves relay messages from the skin to the brain. Problems with the nerves can cause itchiness or pain on the skin without causing any actual damage to it.

Several nerve related conditions can cause itching or other sensations on the skin without causing a rash. These conditions include:

  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • postherpetic neuralgia, a complication of shingles

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, diabetes can cause a range of skin issues. For example, itching can result from diabetic neuropathy, which is a complication of diabetes that causes nerve damage.

Learn about itching and diabetes here.

Injuries that affect the nerves or cause nerve damage can also make the skin feel itchy. The area that feels itchy will depend on the location of the injury.

Treatments for nerve related itching depend on the underlying cause. If a person suspects that they have a nerve disorder, they can talk to a doctor to learn about what might be causing specific symptoms.

Kidney disease, especially in the advanced stages, can cause itching without a rash. The cause of itching in kidney disease is not well known, but scientists believe that many factors are involved.

If a person knows that they have kidney problems and starts to develop itching skin, they should contact their doctor. Their doctor will run tests to see how well the kidneys are working.

In some cases, a person may need dialysis. This is a medical procedure wherein a doctor uses a machine to act in the place of the kidneys to filter the blood.

Dermatologists can prescribe one of several medications to help people with itching skin from kidney disease.

Liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis can cause skin itching. It is not clear why, but some attribute this sensation to the buildup of excessive bile in the body.

The itching tends to be worse in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Exposure to heat usually worsens the itching, and people usually notice that it is worse at night.

Treatment options usually depend on what type of liver disease a person has. Some doctors may prescribe cholestyramine (Questran), which results in less itching.

Skin cancers do not always cause significant symptoms. However, some people may notice skin itching on a previous or new skin lesion as an early symptom. Other symptoms may include the development of a new or changing lesion on the skin.

People should check their skin regularly and report any unusual moles or skin changes to their doctor.

Learn about the symptoms of skin cancer here.

If a doctor is unsure about what is causing the skin change, they may take a small skin sample and send it to the laboratory for testing. This is called a skin biopsy.

The best treatment option for skin cancer depends on its type, location, and stage.

Itching without a rash can also occur in those who have Hodgkin lymphoma, or cancer of the blood cells.

Other symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • swelling of the lymph nodes, such as those in the neck, groin, or armpits
  • appetite loss
  • chills
  • fever
  • night sweats unexplained weight loss

The Hodgkin lymphoma treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

When diagnosing potential causes of itching skin without rash, a doctor will likely consider the most common causes first. This includes excessively dry skin or as a side effect of new medications.

A doctor will consider any other symptoms a person has to guide other diagnostic methods. Examples can include blood testing for liver, kidney, thyroid, or blood cell line problems.

Most causes of itching without rash are treatable.

If a person uses a moisturizer, sets up a humidifier, and practices good skin care but still has itchy skin, they should talk to their doctor about the potential underlying causes.

Although there are some serious causes of itching without rash, they are relatively rare.

Talking to a doctor can help a person determine the most likely cause and identify the best treatments.

Signs That Itch is a Medical Problem

23-08-2021 · Conditions that may cause itching are varied and include liver disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems, and even certain cancers in rare cases (leukemia, lymphoma).

23-08-2021
man itching skin

There’s no feeling more urgent and frustrating like the need to scratch an itch — especially if it’s in a spot you can’t reach. And to add even more discomfort, it feels like the more you scratch, the more your skin itches. What gives?

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Usually, the culprit behind the itchy skin mystery is not so threatening: dry skin.

While dry skin is most apparent in the winter, aging also has an effect. As we get older, hormone levels change and skin becomes more thin and dry. However, caring for your skin and using moisturizers regularly can help offset these effects.

In other cases, itch can signal other undiagnosed medical issues that need a doctor’s attention.

Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, says, “Usually, the problem is traced to dry skin, however reactions to medications and other underlying conditions can also cause itching,” she says.

“It’s a symptom you don’t want to ignore, especially if it continues for an extended period of time.”

How to ease itchy, dry skin

Dry skin is the most common culprit for itch. Here’s what can strip your skin of moisture, and what to do to soothe your skin:

  • Winter air, inside and out. A drop in temperature and humidity can leave skin parched, while indoor heating can strip it of even more moisture.
    Tip: To help skin bounce back, use a humidifier at home set at 50% or higher.
  • Hot showers. While steamy showers can temporarily soothe skin, they actually end up drying skin out more quickly.
    Tip: Switch to quick showers with lukewarm water, rather than hot.
  • The wrong soap. Some soaps are harsh and strip the skin of all natural moisture. Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it?
    Tip: Read labels carefully and choose a mild, fragrance-free soap that moisturizes as it cleanses.
  • Too much towel action. Vigorous toweling off after showering can strip the skin and increase dryness.
    Tip: After a shower, pat dry instead of rubbing the skin.
  • Mediocre moisturizers. Use moisturizer after washing, but choose wisely. Avoid lotions containing fragrance, as they can dry out skin.
    Tip: Go for fragrance-free lotions containing ceramide, a molecule that traps water in the skin to restore the skin barrier.
  • Harsh detergents. Fragrance in laundry detergents and fabric softeners as fragrance can irritate dry skin.
    Tip: Look for free and clear laundry products.

How to decipher your itch

If you wonder what’s causing your itch, here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Dry skin. Your skin feels dry and itchy and appears flaky. Moisturizers help ease the itch, even if relief is temporary. 
  • Reactions to medications. If you’ve started a new medication, watch for an itch that comes with a skin rash.
  • Skin conditions, like eczema and hives. Itching will usually affect specific areas, and you may see redness, bumps or blisters on your skin.
  • An underlying illness. Itching typically involves your whole body, and your skin generally looks normal.

Do you suspect an underlying illness?

Conditions that may cause itching are varied and include liver disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems, and even certain cancers in rare cases (leukemia, lymphoma).

In these cases, itching will typically affect your whole body while your skin appears normal. If you think an underlying medical problem could be involved with your itching, call your doctor. Treatment of the underlying illness will improve the itching.

When to see your doctor

In general, your itchy skin should improve within weeks if you follow simple skin care steps.

“If these changes do not bring relief and are distracting you from your daily routines or affecting your sleep, you should see your dermatologist,” Dr. Khetarpal says. When skin is very dry, it may require a prescription ointment or cream, she says.

Why am I itching at night? | Eurax

Why am I itching at night? Nighttime itching , also known as nocturnal pruritus , is a fairly common occurrence and can be caused by lifestyle factors as well as medical conditions . Itchy skin during the night can often become an issue when you find yourself stuck in the itch-scratch cycle where the skin is broken and becomes inflamed and itchier , causing you to scratch more.

Nighttime itching, also known as nocturnal pruritus, is a fairly common occurrence and can be caused by lifestyle factors as well as medical conditions

Itchy skin during the night can often become an issue when you find yourself stuck in the itch-scratch cycle where the skin is broken and becomes inflamed and itchier, causing you to scratch more. 

Carry on reading to find out more about the causes of nighttime itching and top tips for prevention.

Most causes of nighttime itching can be categorised as either lifestyle, natural or medical. Sometimes, nighttime itching occurs whilst you are asleep so you may not be aware you're scratching until it is too late.

Other times you may find you can't sleep as you're stuck in the itch-scratch cycle all night long, which can often have a knock-on effect the following day, as it makes you tired and lethargic, affecting your ability to concentrate. 

Simple lifestyle changes can be made if you’re unsure of the cause of your itching, such as changing the material of your bedding or washing powder.

  • Your body temperature and blood flow naturally increase during the night to keep you warm. This rise in heat against the surface of the skin can cause you to feel itchy.
  • As your body adapts to the nighttime it releases certain substances, such as cytokines which increase inflammation, as well as reduces the production of corticosteroids which reduce inflammation.
  • Your skin naturally loses more water during the night as you’re not staying hydrated while you sleep. This can cause your skin to become dry and dehydrated, leading to itching.

A fast and effective range that provides long-lasting relief. Eurax helps bring comfort to the distress of skin itching and irritation.

Health conditions that can cause nocturnal pruritus include the following:

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • Psoriasis
  • Hives
  • Bugs such as bed bugs, lice or scabies
  • Thyroid problems
  • Nerve disorders such as diabetes, shingles or multiple sclerosis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Kidney or liver disease

Eurax Cream can be used to soothe itchy and irritated skin conditions such as eczema, hives and allergy-related itching. Eurax HC Cream alleviates inflammation and itching caused by dermatitis and eczema.

Fast-acting and long-lasting relief from itchy and irritated skin during the night.

Learn more

There are a few simple steps you can incorporate into your nighttime routine to prepare your skin before bed that may reduce the itch-scratch cycle during the night. 

  • Watch out for triggers: Avoid allergens in the evening as reactions can cause the skin to become inflamed and itchy. These allergens may include pet dander, fragranced soaps or lotions, cigarette smoke or dust mites.
  • Refine your sleep routine: Get into a good sleep routine by going to bed at the same time each night and relax your mind before sleep to distract yourself from scratching.
  • Cut your nails: Keep your nails trimmed short to avoid breaking the skin when scratching as this can cause you to become stuck in the itch-scratch cycle or for your skin to become infected.
  • Bathe before bed: Bathe in cool or lukewarm water before bedtime to keep your skin hydrated and prevent skin infection.
  • Keep your skin hydrated: Once you’re dried off after bathing, moisturise your body straight away to keep the skin moist and hydrated. Going to bed with dehydrated or dry skin can cause irritation.
  • Apply Eurax Cream: Use an anti-itch cream, such as Eurax, to soothe itchy skin for up to 8 hours through the night. Eurax Cream absorbs into the skin quickly and is non-greasy so you don’t need to worry about ruining your sheets! If symptoms persist please consult your doctor.
  • Pick the right detergent: Wash your bedding and pyjamas in non-bio washing detergent as this contains less harsh chemicals and is generally more suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Medication can often be the best course of treatment if the cause of your nighttime itching is medical, such as antihistamines for allergy-related itching.
  • If sleep is being majorly disrupted, your doctor may prescribe sleeping tablets.
  • Eurax Cream can be used to soothe nighttime itching for up to 8 hours. Eurax HC Cream may be used if the itchy skin becomes inflamed.

Eurax 10% Cream provides long-lasting relief from itchy skin conditions and is non-greasy and non-staining. Suitable for adults and children and children over 3. Also available in a handy 30g size.

Eurax HC Cream provides rapid relief from mild to moderate eczema, dermatitis and insect bites. Its dual-action formula helps reduce inflammation and stop itching.

Itching causes & treatments - Illnesses & conditions

In some cases, they may take a skin scraping or a swab so it can be tested to help identify the cause of your itching. A ... try patting or tapping the itchy area, rather than scratching it; wear cotton gloves at night to prevent damage from scratching in your sleep; hold a cold compress, such as damp flannel, over the affected area to cool it down ; avoid spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine, as ...

Itching is an unpleasant sensation that compels a person to scratch the affected area. The medical name for itching is pruritus.

Itching can affect any area of the body. It can either be:

  • generalised – where itching occurs over the whole body
  • localised – where itching only occurs in a particular area

Sometimes, there may be a rash or spot where the itching occurs.

Mild, short-lived itching is common, but the problem can occasionally be severe and very frustrating to live with.

Common causes of itching

Itching can be caused by a number of different conditions, including:

Read more about the possible causes of itching.

Things you can do

If you experience troublesome itching, there are some things you can do that may help relieve it and prevent damage caused by scratching, including:

  • patting or tapping the itchy area, rather than scratching it
  • holding a cold compress, such as damp flannel, over the affected area to cool it down
  • bathing or showering in cool or lukewarm water
  • using unperfumed personal hygiene products
  • avoiding clothes that irritate your skin, such as wool or man-made fabrics
  • using a moisturiser or emollient if your skin is dry or flaky

There are also medicines, such as antihistamines and steroid creams, that are available over the counter from pharmacies that may help relieve itching caused by certain skin conditions.

Read more about treatments to relieve itching.

When to see your GP

Many cases of itching will get better over a short period of time. However, you should visit your GP if your itch is:

  • severe
  • lasts for a long time
  • keeps coming back
  • associated with other symptoms – such as redness and swelling or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

You should also visit your GP if your entire body itches and there is no obvious cause. It could be a symptom of a more serious condition.

Your GP will ask you about your symptoms – for example, if you have noticed whether anything makes your itch worse, or if your itch comes and goes. They will also examine your skin to look for any visible symptoms.

In some cases, they may take a skin scraping or a swab so it can be tested to help identify the cause of your itching. A blood test may also be carried out to look for underlying problems, such as thyroid or kidney disease.

Depending on what is found to be causing your itch, you may be referred to a hospital specialist for a further assessment and specific treatment.