Menopause itching at night. Yes, it’s a thing. Here, we explore what causes itching at night around menopause and look at some treatment options.
It’s enough to make you crazy. That incessant nightly itch.
What is it? Why is it? And how do you make it stop?
Before it drives you to distraction, here’s everything you need to know about menopause itching at night.
If you haven’t heard about this particularly frustrating menopause symptom—or thought you were the only one experiencing it—you might be surprised to learn that itching during menopause is surprisingly common.
But at night, too?
In this article: 📝
- Is there a link between menopause and itching at night?
- Why does my itching start at night?
- How can I reduce the likelihood of menopause itch at night?
- What’s a good menopause itching at night treatment?
Is there a link between menopause and itching at night?
The culprit? (You only get one guess.)
Yep, it’s estrogen again.
During menopause, the levels of estrogen that your ovaries produce start to decline.
In addition to playing a really important role in the female reproductive system, estrogen also stimulates the production of natural oils and collagen in the skin.
While the research is ongoing, it’s likely that, without this essential hormone, your skin’s natural oils and collagen also start to decrease.
And this means that your skin becomes drier, thinner, and, well, itchier.
Why does my itching start at night?
Having itchy skin while you’re menopausal can happen during the day and at night.
If it’s only happening to you at night, pay attention to whether any other irritants could be at play.
Did you have a bath or shower before bed and use soap, bubble bath, or body lotion that might have irritated your skin?
You could have an allergy that you’re not aware of.
Or did you eat or drink something hot, spicy, or alcoholic?
Certain foods can cause your blood vessels to expand.
And because you’re awake, you’re more aware of your daytime itch that won’t go away.
How can I reduce the likelihood of menopause itch at night?
Prevention is better than cure, so they say.
Try some of the following interventions before the itch gets you:
- Stay hydrated. Water is critical for healthy skin.
- Have lukewarm, rather than hot, baths or showers. Super-hot water can strip your skin of essential oils.
- Pat yourself dry. Rather than giving yourself a vigorous rub down, gently pat yourself dry with a soft, clean towel.
- Don’t scratch. We know—tricky. As far as possible, it’s best not to scratch. A cool compress might help. And if you’re scratching yourself in your sleep, try wearing gloves so that you don’t cause any damage unknowingly.
- Choose fragrance-free skincare products. Some products may have harsh chemical ingredients that aren’t great for your skin, especially if it’s already irritated and inflamed.
What’s a good menopause itching at night treatment?
OK, so what can you do to give yourself some much-needed reprieve from itching at night during menopause?
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of menopause itching treatment options, but here’s the skinny:
Vaginal lubricants and topical estrogen
These can help to offer some reprieve if your vagina is itchy.
Avoid any scented lubricants as they can make things worse.
Topical estrogen has shown to be particularly effective and doesn’t come with the risks of estrogen replacement therapy.
The two types of OTC creams (anesthetic and steroid) can offer some short-term relief for itchy skin.
But don’t use them for too long without your doctor’s input, as they may cause some side effects.
For example, steroid creams can cause your skin to thin even quicker.
There’s some research to suggest that antihistamines might be useful.
Chat to your doctor about whether they might work for you.
Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens found in several foods, soy in particular.
The research is still young on how much they may help during menopause.
While they might alleviate some symptoms, they’re also considered to be endocrine disruptors and might interfere with your hormones.
So it’s best to weigh up the pros and cons first—and to talk to a healthcare professional when in doubt.
As with many menopausal symptoms, your itchiness should go away once you’ve gone through menopause.
And until then, if you’re looking for others who are where you’re at, join the Peanut menopause community.
We’re having the conversation.