ZocdocAnswersWhy do I only feel itchy at night?

Question

Why do I only feel itchy at night?

My skin feels really itchy, but only when I'm in bed trying to fall asleep or in the morning after I wake up. Do I have bed bugs? Or my friend said something about scabies. What is scabies?

Answer

There are a couple of possibilities here. First, it is possible that you are encountering something in the bed that you are allergic to you, which would explain why you are itching only at night. Indoor allergies to things like mites (which live in very large quantities inside of mattress) are very common, and they may provoke itching as well as symptoms like stuffy nose and itchy eyes. If you know you have allergies, or if you think this might be what is going on, then you might want to talk to your primary care doctor about starting some allergy medications to control the symptoms. You may also want to address the source issue by using mattress covers, eliminating carpet from the bedroom, etc. Second, it is possible that you have dry skin from a condition like eczema. When we are falling asleep and the constant stimuli of being awake and active are quieted down, it is quite common for symptoms that we might not have noticed while awake start to bother us. If you have dry skin, it may be that you are always a bit 'itchy' but that you only notice it when you are quiet and falling asleep. Regardless, start by talking with your primary care doctor, who can help you figure it out.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.