If you have stumbled upon this article, there is a good chance that you or someone you know is suffering with the frustration of nighttime itching and likely looking for some answers. Itching at night, also known as ‘nocturnal pruritus,’ is an annoying condition that disrupts sleep and affects the quality of life. Causes for nocturnal pruritus can range from natural causes to more serious health concerns and itself and really impact an individual’s overall health.
An average night’s sleep for an adult under 65 is 7 to 9 hours a night and during sleep critical processes are performed, including the regulation of inflammatory mediators, immune monitoring, catabolism of metabolites produced by the brain, and management of neural processes.
Therefore, lack of sleep hurts the quality of life and can cause nerve function disorders, changes in mood, hormones, and immunity levels and have numerous other impacts on overall health and wellbeing.
As we touched on earlier, there can be many root causes of itching sensations at night, but the one we really want to focus in on is Demodex mites, which are often overlooked.
Demodex Mites and Nocturnal Pruritus
Their population is usually small, and therefore asymptomatic however reasons such as stress, illness, lack of sleep and/or medication can result in a weakened immune system. This allows their population density to increase and therefor cause the skin to react and process an overpopulation of mites, which can result in a range of tell-tale symptoms. Symptoms can range from person to person, but one of the most common indication of mites is itching at night.
As Demodex do not like ultraviolet light from the sun, they often hide deep in the skin during the day and come to the surface at night, moving at an incredible speed of 8 to 16 cm per hour. Many of our clients experience this nocturnal itching in areas with high populations such as their scalp, although this activity can take place almost anywhere on the external skin where there are hair follicles.
Although not everyone may experience this activity at night, it is a good indication that Demodex may be playing a serious role and often one of the first questions that we ask here at Ungex when assessing an infestation.
If you are experiencing some kind of nocturnal itching or crawling feelings associated with nocturnal pruritus Ungex may be able to help. Book a no obligation Demodex Consultation with Ungex, find out if mites could be an issue for you and what you can do about it.
Although itching at night can have both dermatological and non- dermatological causes. We would encourage anyone experiencing this issue to seek medical attention and explore all possibilities and do their due diligence.
However, Demodex should definitely not be overlooked as a contributing factor to nocturnal pruritus, especially when accompanied by other mite related symptoms and would encourage anyone going through this issue to speak with one of our friendly consultants for guidance.