This question was answered on Thu 25, Jun 2009 07:06am by Dr. Rajgopal, MBBS

Itchy skin ONLY at night

Asked by rock_drummer87 (Male; 22; Bad ADHD, was treated for depression but okay now. I have had to bladder infections when I was 14 and 17. Easily treated with Anti-Biotics ) on Thu 25, Jun 2009 02:25am

What causes itchy skin only at night right when I try to sleep? What can I do to stop this? Why are my symptoms not consistant with others who have simalar problems? Why do the nights I have itchy skin syndrom I tend to have to pee alot, like I just drank a gallon of water, and I have to pee 2/3's of my sleep time away and keep itching while im peeing? Doesnt make sense to me either. Never itches in a consistant spot. Most times I found it will be bad for a few days and then the problem will disappear for days and then it comes back with vengence. But the most usual spots are ankles, knee's, pretty much anywhere around my legs, back on occasion the inside of the elbow area, and back of hands. Only when I try to sleep. I've tried a verity of things to help, Sleeping with Pajama's, boxer, even nude. I've tried Male and Female based lotions. They work for awhile and lose their effect oddly enough male type lotions will eventually make it more irritated. I've tried taking Hot showers and cold showers with no effect, I've changed bed sheets and blankets a number of times always ending in the same result. My spouse doesnt have the problem I have so I know its not a dirt related issue. I found itching can be triggered by noises at night, such as a blazing siren of a police car. I've switched and tried a number of different body washes and soaps. I've even tried changing my diet to see if it would do any good, which had no effect. I once wrapped myself in shrink wrap as a joke, and needless to say it didnt help... at all... I'm looking for a way to stop this irratation, but nothing seems to work, if it does work it only works for maybe 3-4 nights and its right back to itchy-ness... no rashes, not burning skin, just really itchy to the point I will itch till it bleeds like a misquito bite on steroids.

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Answer by Dr. Rajgopal, MBBS  on Thu 25, Jun 2009 07:06am:

Hello, Itchy skin that isn't accompanied by other obvious skin changes, such as a rash, is most often caused by dry skin (xerosis). Dry skin usually results from environmental factors that you can wholly or partially control. These include hot or cold weather with low humidity levels, long-term use of air conditioning or central heating, and washing or bathing too much. Other conditions cause itchy skin as well. Skin conditions like dermatitis, scabies and hives, internal diseases like liver and kidney disorders, diabetes, iron deficiency anemia, irritation and allergic reactions to chemicals, wool, soaps, cosmetics and certain foods can cause itchy skin. From your symptoms of night itching; scabies, hives (urticaria) and diabetes need detailed investigations. Scabies is an infestation of the skin with the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. It is characterized by intense itching, usually at night and by small insect-type bites lesions on the skin. Diagnosis of scabies is made by scraping the skin and viewing the material under a microscope to see the characteristic mite or eggs. Hives (medically known as urticaria) are red, itchy, raised areas of skin that appear in varying shapes and sizes. They have a tendency to change size rapidly and to move around, disappearing in one place and reappearing in other places, often in a matter of hours. The diagnosis of hives can be confirmed after getting allergy tests from an allergist. You can apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. Oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl can also be used. You should take a comfortably cool bath and wear smooth-textured cotton clothing. Covering the affected area with bandages and dressings can help protect the skin and prevent scratching. You should choose mild soaps without dyes or perfumes and use a mild, unscented laundry detergent when washing clothes, towels and bedding. Pls take a second opinion from a dermatologist if the symptoms persist. He/She will start with the specific medications. If an internal disease is found, whether it's kidney disease, diabetes, iron deficiency or a thyroid problem, treating that disease often relieves the itch.Lastly,Phototherapy can also be tried. Hope it helps. Take care and please do keep me posted in case you have any additional doubts. Kind regards. You can find more information about this from the following site:

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Follow up:

Clarification by rock_drummer87 on Wed 01, Jul 2009 05:51am:
You gave me more idea of things to do with this problem like the mild soaps and such, however I am possitive that its not mites or scabies, those are easily passed from person to person from what I know of, my girl friend would have had it by now if that were the case... I should have been more specific with how I ment it jumped, it will itch really bad in one spot all night long example my leg, the next night it will itch really bad on say my shoulders. I will check out the link, and take your advise to be certain that it is not scabies. or mites
Clarification by rock_drummer87 on Wed 01, Jul 2009 06:40am:
Okay, now I looked the the pictures of what scabies can do and I have none of that, I dont have any redness on the skin, dry skin usually looks dry, I dont have that, if I were to show you a picture it just looks like I scratched the hell out of a spot, so swelling of any kind. I am kinda amazed on how fast it heals though. Anyways, scabies would get worse and worse untreated for long periods of times, I've had this problem for 2-3 years now, right away I was just thinkin I got into something, but now its getting more frequant and just more irritating. I have never been known for having any type of allergic or allergies of any type. I am in the army so I've been tested for alots of things. You gave better advise then most people would have so now my question is what other possiblities are there? If it was a internal disease would that be triggered by a certain food?


Comment by on Wed 13, Apr 2011 08:20pm:
Itching when trying to sleep can be due to allergies, bed bugs, dust mites, scabies mite or neurodermatitis skin. Get it checked from a dermatologist.

Comment by on Mon 18, Apr 2011 10:53pm:
Itchy skin at night can be due to scabies and this is a contagious disease. All Family members need antiscabies treatment to prevent recurrence.

Comment by on Mon 02, May 2011 10:23pm:
Itchy skin when trying to sleep can be due to bed bugs, dust mites, itch-scratch-itch cycle , nerve conditions or scabies mite.

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