Why Does Psoriasis Itch More At Night?

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The cause of why many skin problems (including for psoriasis) itch more at night may be linked to the mechanism of circadian rhythms in the body for the production of some chemicals called mediators involved in triggering & activating itch nerve fibers. And some studies found that the body tends to produce some of these mediators at night.

Another theory is about the body’s temperature changes at night.

There is data to show that the temperature of skin can increase at nighttime, by about 1 degree. And as well we know, both too high & too low temperature can make the skin itch even more.

The treatment options to deal with the itching of psoriasis

Dealing with the itching of the problem is not always easy. Even sometime the problem causes a chronic itch that can affect the quality of life of people with psoriasis. For instance, this symptom can affect the quality of sleep which then may affect the overall health if left untreated.

Fortunately, some treatment options are available to cope with this symptom. While the main goal of the treatment is to help reduce the discomfort of itchiness, the treatment also can help sufferer to avoid a condition called itch-scratch cycle (regular scratching that can cause inflammation if left untreated).

The following are some medicines to help reduce itchiness of psoriasis:

  1. Lotions & creams. Since dry skin can be a starting point for the skin to itch, the use of creams /lotions can be so helpful to moisturize the skin. Lotions are less moisturizing than creams. Therefore, creams are usually more recommended for severe case. There are some special creams for psoriasis, see a doctor for more advice!
  2. Antihistamine! It can provide a sedative effect and help improve the nerve pathways linked to itching – eventually it is intended to help you sleep well through your itching. Follow the dosage properly! And for daytime usage, find one that is labeled with non-drowsy.
  3. Other topical treatments can be with topical anesthetics and topical corticosteroids. Again, consult with a dermatologist for more advice!

In addition, there are also some home remedies to help deal with the problem. These include:

  1. Avoid any triggers that can worsen the problem or make the skin itch even more! The triggers may vary from sufferer to sufferer. In general, intense sun exposure, smoking, stress, skin injuries, and infections are common psoriasis triggers.
  2. While intense sun exposure may worsen the problem, some sufferers find that getting exposure to small /controlled amounts of sunlight can help improve the problem. Keep a record of how long you should get sun exposure to reduce the risk of getting overexposure! And use an appropriate SPF to keep safe!
  3. It is much better to avoid consuming alcohol. Some experts believe that alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of some treatments for psoriasis. If you love drinking, consult more with a dermatologist, he may still allow you to drink but only in moderation!
  4. The use of some ice packs may help because this idea can help numb nerve endings. Some sufferers find that the use of a frozen gel pack, applied to the affected skin, is not only helpful to improve itch but also useful to cool & ease the rawness of inflamed patches.
  5. Taking oatmeal bath such as with colloidal oatmeal. This option can be effective when psoriasis affects large area of the skin. It can help soothe the large area of affected skin in one step.

For more detailed information about the treatment plan for psoriasis, consult more with a doctor /dermatologist. Each case may need different treatment approaches for best outcome!

Citations /references:

  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000434.htm
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/ref/health/healthguide/esn-eczema-expert.html?pagewanted=all
  3. http://psoriasis.about.com/lw/Health-Medicine/Alternative-treatments/Psoriasis-and-Itching.htm

All of these citations accessed on May 2014


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