Why does my body itch at night?

Dear doctor; My body itches me whenever bedtime is approaching. Surprisingly, it does not happen in the morning when I wake up. What could be the cause.

Dear doctor;

My body itches me whenever bedtime is approaching. Surprisingly, it does not happen in the morning when I wake up. What could be the cause.

Moses

Dear Moses,

Has this problem just started or you have had it for long? Does it happen consistently or only during the dry season? Body itching at night could be due to multiple causes. Excess dryness of skin due to exposure to dust, cold weather, hormonal disorders or genetic factors can cause itching. It is possible that you are using some moisturizing cream or lotion during the day but not during the night. As the effect of the moisturizing agent clears, the skin becomes dry and itches at night.

Bed bugs can also bite and cause itching in the night. If you have ants under your bedsheets or mattress, your body is bound to itch. To avoid such a scenario, it is advisable to put your beddings in the sun for at least 2-3 days. If bedbugs are strongly suspected, a mild insecticide can be sprayed. Mosquito bites can as well cause itching and rashes, a problem which can be simply eliminated by using a mosquito net.

Scabies is an infection caused by a parasite, which can spread from person to person through physical contact. The typical disease manifests as itching over the body, more in the night. In affluent families with good hygiene, children can occasionally bring this infection home from play mates. Diagnosis is simple and it is curable. Other parasitic infestations like ascaris or pin worm may cause itching more in the night.

One can have itching at night due to allergy to something in the environment or a body care product used. Mosquito repellants, deodorants used while changing clothes can become a source of allergy. Itching in the night can be due to nylon night clothes or bed sheets as well.

You need to review your routine for the night. If the skin is dry, it is advisable to use a suitable lubricating lotion before going to bed. Preferably this should be applied over damp skin after washing the face and limbs. Moisture is retained better over a damp skin. Also review the body care products you use at night. Suspending the use of products one at a time and then reusing it can help to identify a substance causing allergy and itching at night.

Use of cotton bed clothes as well as night clothes keeps the body comfortable and avoids any allergy, thus minimizing risk of itching.  

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