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Managing Itching Eczema Skin at night

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Skinakin Eczema Relief Clothing

It can be so hard to manage Eczema itching, especially at night-time. I remember the stress when my son was small, trying to help soothe his itching, while constantly telling him not to scratch. It was so hard for him to understand. At night-time it was worse, because he was able to pull his gloves off and do even more damage to his delicate skin. I felt so guilty, constantly telling him to stop scratching and keep his gloves on. I felt like I was always telling him off! I'll always remember Tracy (SkinAkin Co-Founder) telling me how she even had to hold her son's hands in bed, to stop him scratching and damaging his delicate skin! It is awful to have your child struggling to fall asleep, and then waking up due to uncontrollable eczema itching. It was also really frustrating (and tiring) not being able to help them. Sleep disturbance is one of the most common problems with eczema and has a major impact on quality of life, and physical and mental wellbeing, for both children and their parents.

Why does Eczema Skin Itching get worse at night?

Itching gets worse at night-time for a few reasons. The body’s sleep and wake cycles causes core body temperature drop at night, making skin feel itchy. Researchers have found that Melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep, can be lower in people with Eczema. Skin moisture levels reduce at night as creams wear off, and you also scratch subconsciously in your sleep, leading to more itchiness and skin damage. Night-time clothing and even the fabric choice in bed sheets, can also cause itchiness and irritation.

A lot of this eczema journey is trial and error. Whilst you can never get rid of the itch, there is a lot you can do to help at night-time. We've compiled our top five tips, read on to find out more:

Tip #1 - Stick to the plan when managing eczema itching!

I'll admit, sometimes, if I didn't visibly see red skin, I got complacent about being consistent with the recommended treatment (so wrong I know!). Whatever your child's treatment plan, it is so important to stick to the guidance from your healthcare practitioner, be consistent with it, and moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

Tip #2 - Control the environment.

Central heating and thick duvets and blankets can make managing eczema itching worse. Swap out heavy duvets for thinner cotton sheets and try to keep the room cool.

"If heat aggravates eczema, keep the rooms in your home cool, especially the bedroom" – NHS Guidance

Keeping a window open is helpful, but if your child has a pollen allergy, you may need to keep them closed unfortunately, especially in spring/summer. Bathing at least an hour before bed, and moisturising heavily before going to sleep, can also soothe skin at night. Make sure pjs are made from lightweight and natural, breathable fibres like organic cotton. This can help avoid overheating and sweating (a common eczema trigger).

Tip #3 - Ditch the screens

It can be difficult to prise away screens from children this causes a lot of conflict in our house! Screens on these devices emit a blue light that interferes with our natural sleep cycles, making managing eczema and skin itching at night much harder. Research also shows that blue light exposure affects production of the important hormone Melatonin, that helps us feel drowsy,sending us off to sleep. Sources of blue light include:

  • Smartphones

  • Tablets

  • Fluorescent Lights

  • LED Lights

  • Tablets

  • Gaming Consoles/PC's

The worst of these devices are smartphones and tablets because they are used so close to the face. Decreasing your child's use of devices, a few hours before bed, is a great way to help your child's body naturally prepare for sleep.

Tip #4 - Maintain good sleep hygiene

Good sleep hygiene means creating a calm environment and a daily schedule that promotes good quality sleep. Keeping to a sleep schedule (where possible) making the bedroom comfortable with no distractions, following a relaxing pre-bed-time routine with a bath, skincare routine, and a story, can all help. Getting out into the fresh air during the day and getting sunlight, can also contribute to ideal sleep hygiene.

Tip #5 - Be kind to yourself

Caring for a child with additional needs can take the normal stresses of parenthood up a level. Trying to pre-occupy your child to stop them scratching, running to medical appointments, trying to find a treatment plan that works, and lack of sleep, all add to the strain. Throw in to the mix more housework, cleaning, dusting, and washing bed linen because there is cream and blood on the sheets in the morning, and of course Mummy guilt when you think you aren't doing can get tough. Try to take time out for yourself if possible, because you can't fill from an empty cup. Even a short walk, a nap, or a coffee with a friend, can boost your reserves. Remember you are doing your best, and really that is all we can do.

Managing Eczema itching at night is a journey and what works at one point, may not work at another. The stresses and frustrations, can be underestimated by others who haven't experienced it for themselves. At SkinAkin, we've been there too. We understand the impact of eczema, and the damage caused by itching, scratching, and lack of sleep. We want to help as many children reduce the damage done to skin, and help parents get some rest! We are so happy that our SkinAkin Onesie range, which offers full body protection from scratching, is now helping the families that need it most (and even cutting down on laundry time!).

90% of parents surveyed said the Onesie improved Sleep! Made from premium, GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. Check out the Onesie range now, Learn More

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