Itching is a sensation which can at any time and place and may be a source of embarrassment for many people. It has also been observed that in some individuals the sensation of itching gets aggravated at night. This is rather uncommon and is a subject of further investigation to identify the cause. Whether the cause is benign requiring no treatment or if treatment is required it is extremely essential to identify the source of itching at night.
Certain dermatological disorders are known to aggravate itching at night. This may cause the affected individual to have a disturbed sleep due to persistent urge to itch throughout the night. In individuals with systemic illnesses more aggressive treatment is indicated to get rid of the persistent itching at night. Below mentioned are some of the potential causes for Nighttime Itching and ways to get rid of it.
What Causes Nighttime Itching?
Nighttime Itching is also known by the name of nocturnal pruritus. In majority of the cases, people with conditions like atopic dermatitis or psoriasis have more instances of Nighttime Itching. People with chronic kidney dysfunction also report Nighttime Itching. Other than this, some of the common causes for itching at night are:
Sleep Wake Cycle: The time when an individual goes to bed plays a critical role in increase or aggravation of Nighttime Itching. When an individual goes to sleep at night there are several functions in the body that continue to take place. The skin temperature rises at night which may worsen Nighttime Itching. Also at night, there is loss of water from the body which leads to dryness of the skin again aggravating Nighttime Itching.
Reduced Nighttime Stimuli: While sleeping, there is a decreased perception of stimulus. This makes an individual more aware of a sensation of itching and can be considered as a potential cause for increased itching at nighttime.
Bed Linen: Certain skin conditions are directly related to the bed linen and nighttime clothing. Some people unknowingly may be sensitive to the materials used in manufacturing the linens and night wears. This results in such individuals complaining of increased nighttime itching.
Dust Mite Allergy: An individual allergic to dust mites may find an increase in Nighttime Itching as these dust mites become active at night and are present in the mattresses and linen and feed on dead skin cells shed off at night while sleeping.
Some of the other causes for Nighttime Itching are
- Atopic dermatitis
Nighttime Itching is a symptom for certain more serious medical problem like a dysfunctional liver or kidney. Certain blood disorders also have Nighttime Itching as a symptom. Insomnia is yet another common condition found in people complaining of Nighttime Itching.
How to Get Rid of Nighttime Itching?
Treatments for Nighttime Itching
Usually Nighttime Itching is treated conservatively with creams and emollients but in some cases these treatments are not enough. In such cases, a consultation with a dermatologist is recommended who can formulate a treatment plan. The physician may recommend medications if the Nighttime Itching is due to a skin disorder. Some of the medications that may be recommended to get rid of Nighttime Itching are:
- Antihistamines to reduce the level of histamine which tends to aggravate Nighttime Itching
- Corticosteroids to calm down the inflammation in inflammatory skin conditions which increases Nighttime Itching
- Antidepressants for psychogenic causes for Nighttime Itching
Simple Remedies to get Rid of Nighttime Itching
Apart from the treatments mentioned above, there are also some simple remedies which are quite useful in getting rid of Nighttime Itching. These remedies are:
- Avoiding use of antibacterial or scented lotions at night
- Using a good moisturizer for dry skin and for other skin related conditions
- Having a bath just before bedtime especially in summer season so as to remove any potential irritants or allergens in the skin which may cause Nighttime Itching
- Keep the bedroom clean, ventilated, and free of any dust mites
- Regularly changing bed linen
- Wearing light cotton clothing