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  #1  
Old 12-16-2004, 12:32 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Rashes, itching and the night time.

I am not usually a person who is prone to rashes but am just recovering from a rather itchy and red rash that was caused by an allergic reaction to an antibiotic a doctor had prescribed.

I took the antibiotic for 17 of the 21 prescribed days before having this reaction. My MD feels certain it is because I was also taking an antihistimine/decongestant combo over-the-counter medication. My MD diagnosed it immediately upon laying eyes on the pattern of outbreak.

So it's no big deal really, cause being ascertained, nothing to worry about. It got worse before it got better however and there were a couple of wretchedly itchy nights.

Thank the lord for oatmeal bathes and Calomine lotion.

Now to the question at hand, why, oh why does a rash itch so much more at night?

It's not just when I lie down to rest, decreasing my activity level (which would make a certain amount of sense). Once the evening comes on the itch gets so much worse. The rash gets redder and warmer to the touch.

It got me to thinking that most things that itch, itch worse at night.

So, why is that? What's going on that my allergic reaction knows what time of the day it is. This is an active household with as much activity after dark as before, not till after midnight does the activity level seriously drop, or the furnace get turned down, or anyone retire for the evening, under the covers.

So why at about 8:30 does the itchy set in so badly?

(excuse me whilst I have a scratch....)
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2004, 10:07 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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What?

It's just me?

I think not.

Everyone I asked about this phenomena told their own story of poison ivy, or some other sensitivity, which was itchier at night as well.

Seriously, I'm open to wild ass guesses.

I've been pondering it for a couple of days now and I got nothing.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2004, 10:19 AM
The Chao Goes Mu The Chao Goes Mu is offline
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WAG, I'm thinking because at night your mind is not occupied. During the day you're bustling about, going to work, reading, watching tv, etc. But at night, you're just lying there, trying to relax, then you notice every damn little itch.
I am currently being treated for an outbreak of hives brought on by an allergy to medication. Scratching an itch also released more histamines in the welt you are digging at with steel wool So, in effect, the itch gets worse.

I'm hoping someone with more knowledge on the subject would step up, I'd like to know too elbows
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:14 PM
Excalibre Excalibre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Chao Goes Mu
WAG, I'm thinking because at night your mind is not occupied. During the day you're bustling about, going to work, reading, watching tv, etc. But at night, you're just lying there, trying to relax, then you notice every damn little itch.
I am currently being treated for an outbreak of hives brought on by an allergy to medication. Scratching an itch also released more histamines in the welt you are digging at with steel wool So, in effect, the itch gets worse.

I'm hoping someone with more knowledge on the subject would step up, I'd like to know too elbows
Steel wool? We have brushes with steel bristles for our cats. So scratching rashes really does make them worse? I always assumed my parents just told me that to keep me from giving myself an infection from scratching so much. I'll keep this in mind next time I give in to temptation and eat a mango.
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Old 12-16-2004, 02:28 PM
MaryEFoo MaryEFoo is offline
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You could test the scratching-increases-itching proposition by dividing yourself into two areas of approximately equal itching, and scratching in one of the areas only.

I remember this phenomenon from having poison oak as a youngster, on multiple occasions. The itching would keep coming up when I was ready to sleep, and I tried getting the hairbrush and scratching the whole area past the itching stage to the discomfort-from-brushing stage, whereupon it wouldn't bother me as I relaxed and went to sleep. Worked just fine. The whole area that had been brushed would be flushed and warm, but not itchy.

Note, it was nylon bristles and not steel! and I was never into hurting myself.
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Old 12-16-2004, 02:48 PM
Philster Philster is offline
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Your immune system might be more responsive at night. The itching and redness is usually a sign of the immune system at work.

Wow...Kudos to you doc for the anithistamine/decongestant pickup.

I would say to treat the rash without anything more than hydrocortisone or Aveeno ®

Some folks have elevated body temps/sweatiness at night. Even mild increases can affect a rash. Maybe the sheets/detergent are irritants.

I would say that you should treat the rash topically and avoid what the doc told you, EVEN AFTER you are done the anitbiotic run. You need to let the rash heal and get your immune system back on track.
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Old 12-16-2004, 07:11 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Everything feels worse at night. You're tired, you've been subconsciously using up resources ignoring or working through what's bothering you. Now you try to relax and all the major and minor irritations come flooding back.
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Old 12-17-2004, 12:49 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Not that these are not great guesses but I have considered this.

Seriously there is a lot of activity, it is midnight, at least, before there is any relaxing, resting. There are still serious things to attend to up until that time, no decrease in action or attention (caregivers are we to a bedridden individual, the work doesn't end, in ernest).

The itch doesn't start up when I do get to call it a day around midnight, it gets worse begining at about 8 - 9 pm.

Were I relaxing, watching the tube, chilling, I could understand how it would seem more compelling once there was more time to focus on it. But that's not the case.

I'm leaning toward a build up type effect, after a certain number of hours of activity, or on my feet, it kicks in. It just a wild ass guess.

Maybe the Science Advisory Board could help?
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2004, 01:11 AM
Ephemera Ephemera is offline
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I've been going through this for the past couple weeks too and it's driving me absolutely insane.

For some reason, at about the turn of the month, I started itching at night for no reason I could discern and I know it's not from activity level or anything else because I literally don't do anything all day except surf the net and watch TV because I'm homebound due to a broken leg but, without fail, come the hours between midnight and 6:00am, I'm itching all over and badly too.

In my case, I don't even have any medicine to blame it on either. I was taking some antibiotics for a while in addition to coumadin and vicodin but haven't had any of those in weeks either.

It got so bad two days ago that the inside of my left forearm was completely broken out in striated hives and it really freaked me out. Luckily, they went down after about forty five minutes and I've not had as bad an outbreak since but it's been a relatively short amount of time.

I've not noticed hives in very many other places. It's generally just a prickly itch.
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Old 12-17-2004, 04:41 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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It is well documented that asthma, a condition linked to the immune system, is worse at night. In that case, it's usually the wee hours of the morning, like 1 or 2 am.

So... why is it unreasonable that "itch" activity, be it hives or rash, might also have a peak hour of activity? Which may be 8-9 for all I know - I have a sister who used to regularly get hives at bedtime and no time else.

Which may be in addition to the "lack of distraction" factor and/or possible irritants in bedsheets, pajamas, or other evening/bedroom environmental factors.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2004, 09:04 AM
Philster Philster is offline
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Folks - you are discounting a major issue that I and several others have noted:

Your immune system is not running on a flat line all day. It might be more active at night. Your immune system, and how it reacts, is much of the reason you get hives, or itching, or redness, etc.

When you take an antihistamine, you are suppressing part of the immune response, and this makes some symptoms disappear.

But antihistamines can throw off your immune system, and contribute to a rash. I hate anecdotal evidence, but I will use me as an example since I've poured in an extensive level of research on rashes.

First, allergies and/or skin irritations are not very well understood. You could go 20 years and be exposed to something that never gave you trouble, then BAM, your body touches it one day and you develop a rash....or worse yet, a 'weepy rash'.

So, you battle it, by using topical antihistamines, or whatever, and you 'suppress' it. But it comes back, because the irritant is still around, or because your bodies immune system is just persistent or screwed up.

You think it got better, then at night it gets worse, you wake up and the redness is now more like a burn. SO COMMON! The immune system is going to town and it is trouble for you. Hey, a fever is an example of an immune system response, and people have been know to complain about the fever at night the most.

Treating the rash is really not the solution. You need to get the irritant off of you, or stop the meds that caused it or improve your overall health and....reduce stress or manage it better, because that increases rashes and kills the immunse system.

Some anitbiotics hang around for a while....some drugs that suppress rashes just delay bigger flare ups....

So....let the drugs get out of your system....eat right, exercise, and get your immune system boosted.

If you use something topically, limit it to hydrocortisone or Aveeno (neither will thin the skin or cause further issues).

If you resort to a presrcipt steroid, it will work, and the rash will return someday, and you can cause harm to the skin over time.

Zinc and vitamin C are important to the skin, and some evidence suggest eating diets rich in these.

Eliminate variables:


over weight?

non-exerciser?

Stressed?

Bad diet?

on meds?

If you can slash off all these, you effectively eliminated many variables that negatively affect the immune system. You will boost your chances of eliminating or reducing rash occurences, or shorten their duration.

Even a one time rash sparked by some meds would go away faster with good practices that don't screw up the immune system.
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