Eczema, or dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes itching, inflammation, swelling, and cracked patches of skin. Symptoms increase due to skin dryness, especially during seasonal transitions and harsh winter months.
When eczema flares up at night, the discomfort can make it difficult to fall asleep. Eczema symptoms often worsen at night and interrupt or delay sleep. Medications, wet wraps, medicated baths, and other methods can help people with eczema get a good night’s sleep. Eczema-related sleep disorder is common in adults. In addition, sleep disturbance occurs in 83 percent of children with eczema, which can significantly affect their quality of life.
How about learning why eczema symptoms flare up at night and how you can prevent them? Here are some tips about eczema…
8 ways to deal with nighttime eczema itch #1
WHY DO ECZEMA SYMPTOMS FLAVE AT NIGHT?
Eczema symptoms may get worse at night. Researchers aren’t sure what causes eczema, but a variety of genetic and environmental factors may be involved.
Eczema symptoms may feel worse at night for several reasons:
- Due to the body’s sleep and wake cycles, a person’s temperature drops at night, which can cause the skin to itch.
- When the skin that is moisturized during the day starts to dry again at night, it can trigger eczema.
- People are more likely to itch in their sleep, which can make itching worse.
People tend to wake up several times during the night without realizing it. They may be itching because they are too sleepy to pull back. This can make the itching worse, which can further interrupt sleep.
8 ways to deal with nighttime eczema itch #2
WAYS TO REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF NIGHT ECZEMA
One of the best ways to prevent nighttime eczema flare-ups is to avoid triggers before bed. The following tips can help prevent eczema itching at night:
- Moisturize well before going to bed
Use a medicated cream like an oil-based moisturizer or steroid cream before bed.
- Take a bath at night
Bathing regularly is important to keep the skin moist and prevent infections. Always moisturize within 3 minutes after bathing to completely lock in moisture.
- Use the wet wrap treatment
If your skin tends to dry out at night, try wrapping a damp cloth on the affected area after moisturizing. Leaving the wrap overnight can help keep the skin moist.
Avoid stiff fabrics. Do not use sheets or pajamas made of fabrics that can irritate the skin, such as wool or polyester. Clothes and bedding made of 100 percent cotton are kinder to the skin.
- Avoid allergens before bed
Many people with eczema also have allergies, and reactions can make their eczema symptoms worse. It can help avoid common allergens like pet dander and pollen at night.
- Try melatonin
A study revealed that melatonin supplementation can help children and adults with eczema fall asleep faster.
- Wear gloves while lying down
Making scratching harder can help control eczema itch at night. Some people find relief by keeping their nails short or wearing gloves to bed.
- Keep the bedroom cool
Sweating or just feeling hot can cause the skin to itch.
- Get into a good sleep pattern
Go to sleep at the same time each night and make time for a relaxing activity like reading or meditation before bed.