Why is Eczema Worse at Night?
Why does a child seem to start itching more just before bedtime or after they fall asleep? Itching more at night from eczema is one of the most frustrating parts of this chronic disease. As a parent, you want to calm the itch so everyone can sleep. If you are an eczema parent, I’m sure you’ve tried everything under the sun to help your child’s itch at sundown. This itchiness at night is a real phenomenon and not just your imagination.
Why does the eczema itch more at night? It’s very simple – the secretion of cortisol which is the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory hormone. Cortisol is at its highest level in the morning and the lowest level at night.
Do you wake up your child in the morning and find them scratching in their sleep? The cortisol has yet to kick in. It hardly seems fair that eczema can be so miserable and itchy for innocent, sweet little sleepers - or non-itchy sleepers.
How can you help calm this crazy nighttime itching for your child? Below are a few tips for the whole family to get some rest.
First, trim their nails. Use a kids nail trimmer or a nail file. Use Eczema Treatment Gloves so they can't scratch.
Then Soak and Seal your child’s skin before bed. The best way to Soak and Seal is a lukewarm bath or shower for at least 10 minutes with a Free and Clear Eczema Cleanser that has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Then Seal in the moisture from the tub or bath immediately with an eczema emollient such as Vaniply. Apply an eczema wrap under their regular cotton pajamas. This wrap calms the itch and repairs the skin barrier to really help itchy sleepers. Studies show an average reduction in symptoms by 70%. These garments are designed for eczema treatment and make the process comfortable and very effective. They also have features such as built in hand covers to prevent scratching and no entry points to itch. Tencel® fabric is wonderful for wrapping because it is an eco-friendly fabric that is naturally itch suppressing. Tencel® has been proven through verifiable testing to be superior for eczema and sensitive skin. Don’t use synthetic fabrics.
Other tips to help the itching at night is using Melatonin as a supplement. Benadryl can also help with nighttime itching. Always talk to your child's doctor and the pharmacist about proper dosing. It is also very important to use a FREE and CLEAR laundry detergent on your child's bedding and use the extra rinse cycle on the washing machine when washing bedding and clothing worn by your child.
Stop Daytime Itching
Daytime itching is decreased by higher levels of Cortisol in the body but also by distractions. Active children are less likely to notice their eczema. There is also another naturally occurring chemical in the body that is highest during the day and helps with calming the itch – histamine. Unfortunately, histamine is lowest at night which increases nighttime itching. Even with higher levels of Cortisol and Histamine, if you child itches during the day consider a dry wrap under their regular clothing. This not only calms the itch, but is an extra protection layer for the damaging itch. Again, Tencel® is the fabric of choice for anti-itch day protection. Tencel® is also thermo-regulating which is great for eczema sufferers as salt in sweat can really aggravate eczema. Tencel@ is also great over creams and emollients during the day. Try these eczema sleeves on arm and leg eczema. They work great under regular clothing and also prevent flaring under sports uniforms.