Men and women alike can be afflicted with late night itching, which is both miserable and annoying. Several conditions are responsible for itches that crop up during the night, disturbing your sleep. Identifying the underlying causes of late night itching can help you address the problem and find some relief.
Men, in particular, often find that they experience late night itching, which may be the result of several conditions. Anal itching, which is medically called pruritus ani, is chronic itching of the skin that surrounds the anus. This kind of itch often occurs during the night. The itching may be caused by something the individual has eaten and digested. The rectal area is exposed to faeces, and if fecal matter contains something irritating it can cause disturb the skin and cause itching. Scrubbing the rectal area with soap and water while washing or using toilet paper too roughly also can make the itching worse.
Men also tend to suffer from jock itch and may scratch incessantly while they sleep. Jock itch is a common fungal infection. Referred to as tinea cruris, it affects the skin on the genitals, buttocks and inner thighs. The fungus that causes this type of rash thrives in warm, dark moist areas. Jock itch also can spread to the anus, which can cause anal itching. It is also contagious if there is skin-to-skin contact with another person. Sweating at night can further aggravate this condition.
When a woman itches at night, may be as a result of hormonal changes. Itching may be worse for pregnant women because their skin is stretching. Itching during pregnancy also can be caused by cholestasis, which is a condition where the flow of bile from the liver is blocked, resulting in severe itching on the hands and feet. Author and Certified Professional Midwife Robin Lim advises adding unrefined virgin olive oil to your diet and eating more vitamin D and A rich foods and linolenic acids to prevent itching.
Yeast infections may also be a source of a woman's itching. The fungus candida, which in habits the vagina and rectum, causes yeast infections, and the itching often gets worse at night. A yeast infection can be aggravated if a woman takes antibiotics, is on birth control pills or is diabetic. This type of infection frequently crops up a week before the menstrual period.
Haemorrhoids and Pinworms
If an individual has haemorrhoids, this can cause anal itching, especially at night. Eating spicy foods or drinking coffee or alcohol can aggravate this condition. Pinworms can also cause several anal itching.
An allergic reaction may be a potential trigger for late night itching. You may be allergic to the washing powder that you use to wash your sheets and blankets, which may cause you to itch when you lay down for sleep. Try switching to a dye-free, hypoallergenic detergent and softener.