Why Does My Skin Get so Itchy at Night?

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.

Why Does My Skin Get so Itchy at Night?

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:

  • Raised skin temperature
  • 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:

  • Hives
  • Chickenpox
  • Dry skin
  • 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.
  • Sunburn
  • Stress
  • 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
  • Kidney or liver issues
  • Low iron anemia
  • Issues that influence the nervous system, for example, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, shingles
  • Skin cancer or other malignant growths including lymphoma and leukemia
  • HIV
  • 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:

  • 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