What Helps Eczema Overnight?

If you’re tired of restless nights due to the discomfort of eczema, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to soothe your skin and promote a peaceful sleep. In this article, we’ll explore some practical and effective methods that can help alleviate eczema symptoms overnight, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. From simple lifestyle changes to innovative skincare products, discover the key to a restful night for your eczema-prone skin.

Table of Contents


Choose a thick moisturizer

When it comes to eczema, moisturizers play a crucial role in soothing and hydrating the skin. Choosing the right moisturizer can make a significant difference in managing your eczema symptoms overnight. Opt for a thick moisturizer that helps create a barrier on your skin, locking in moisture and preventing it from evaporating. Look for moisturizers that are specifically formulated for dry and sensitive skin, as they often contain ingredients designed to replenish and nourish the skin.

Apply moisturizer after bathing

One of the best times to apply moisturizer is immediately after bathing or showering. When your skin is damp, it absorbs moisture more effectively, allowing the moisturizer to penetrate deeper into the layers of your skin. After patting your skin dry with a towel, gently massage the moisturizer onto your body, focusing on areas prone to eczema flare-ups. By moisturizing right after bathing, you can help seal in the moisture and keep your skin hydrated throughout the night.

Use moisturizer before bedtime

Nighttime is an ideal opportunity to give your skin the extra hydration it needs. Before getting into bed, take a few moments to generously apply moisturizer to your entire body, paying extra attention to any areas affected by eczema. The extended period of time you spend sleeping allows the moisturizer to work its magic on your skin, keeping it supple and preventing dryness and itching. Embrace this simple yet effective habit, and you’ll wake up with softer, more comfortable skin.

Consider using moisturizers with ceramides

Ceramides are natural lipids found in the outermost layer of your skin. They help form a protective barrier and maintain the skin’s moisture balance. When this barrier is compromised in individuals with eczema, moisture escapes, and irritants can enter, triggering flare-ups. Using moisturizers that contain ceramides can help replenish and strengthen this protective barrier, keeping your skin hydrated and preventing further irritation. Look for products specifically labeled as “ceramide-rich” or consult with a dermatologist for recommendations.

Look for moisturizers with anti-inflammatory ingredients

Inflammation is a key factor in eczema flare-ups, as it contributes to redness, itching, and discomfort. Choosing a moisturizer that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients can help calm and soothe your skin, reducing the severity of eczema symptoms overnight. Look for ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, oatmeal, or green tea extract, as they have proven anti-inflammatory properties. These ingredients help alleviate redness and irritation, promoting a more peaceful night’s sleep and providing relief to your eczema-prone skin.

Wet Wrap Therapy

Wet wrap before bedtime

Wet wrap therapy is an intensive treatment that can provide significant relief for those struggling with eczema symptoms. By applying a wet dressing to the affected areas before bedtime, you create a moist environment that helps your skin heal and retain moisture. The moisture from the dressing is absorbed into your skin, reducing dryness and itching overnight. Incorporating wet wrap therapy into your bedtime routine can greatly improve the condition of your skin by the time morning comes.

Start with a warm bath or shower

Prepare your skin for wet wrap therapy by taking a warm bath or shower. The warm water helps open your pores and enhances the absorption of moisture. Avoid using hot water, as it can strip your skin of natural oils and exacerbate dryness. Gently pat your skin dry afterwards, leaving it slightly damp before moving on to the next step.

Apply a layer of moisturizer

After your skin is clean and slightly damp, apply a generous layer of moisturizer all over the affected areas. This step helps to further hydrate your skin and acts as a barrier, preventing moisture loss during the wet wrap therapy. Choose a moisturizer that is gentle and free of any irritants or fragrances that may further aggravate your eczema.

Wrap affected areas with wet dressing

Next, it’s time to wrap the affected areas with a wet dressing. Soak a soft cloth or garment in cool water, wring out the excess, and smooth it over the moisturized areas. Be sure to cover the entire affected area, creating a snug but not restrictive fit. This moist dressing helps to lock in moisture, reduce inflammation, and provide relief from itching.

Cover with dry clothing or bandages

To keep the wet dressing in place and maximize its effectiveness, cover the wrapped areas with dry clothing or bandages. This layer helps insulate and maintain the moisture within the wet dressing, allowing it to work its magic on your skin overnight. Opt for loose-fitting clothing or bandages to avoid any added friction that may promote irritation or discomfort.

The combination of moisturizing, wet wrap therapy, and protective coverings creates an environment that accelerates healing, reduces itchiness, and improves the overall condition of your skin.

Cool Compresses

Use cool compresses

Cool compresses can be incredibly soothing and provide quick relief for eczema symptoms. They help to calm inflammation and reduce itchiness, especially during flare-ups. Applying a cool compress to affected areas can provide instant relief and help you get a good night’s sleep.

Soak a clean cloth in cool water

To create a cool compress, start by soaking a clean, soft cloth in cool water. It’s important to use water at a comfortable temperature that doesn’t shock or irritate your skin. Avoid using ice-cold water, as extreme cold can potentially worsen the inflammation.

Gently apply to affected areas

Once the cloth is saturated with cool water, wring out the excess, leaving it slightly damp. Then, gently apply the compress to the affected areas. The coolness of the compress helps to constrict blood vessels, reducing redness and inflammation. Additionally, it provides a soothing sensation that relieves itching and discomfort.

Leave on for 10-15 minutes

Allow the cool compress to remain on your skin for 10-15 minutes. This timeframe allows the coolness to effectively penetrate your skin and work its magic on reducing inflammation and itchiness. During this time, try to relax and focus on the soothing sensation provided by the compress.

Repeat as needed

If your eczema symptoms persist or worsen after removing the cool compress, you can repeat the process as needed. Simply resoak the cloth in cool water, wring out the excess, and reapply it to the affected areas. Listen to your skin and adjust the frequency of cool compresses based on the level of relief you experience.

Cool compresses are a convenient way to soothe eczema symptoms, and they can be used as often as needed, providing quick relief during flare-ups.

Oatmeal Baths

Prepare an oatmeal bath

Oatmeal baths have long been used as a remedy for soothing irritated and itchy skin. They can be incredibly beneficial for individuals dealing with eczema, as the soothing properties of oatmeal help relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation.

Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water

To prepare an oatmeal bath, start by filling your bathtub with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can further dry out and irritate your skin. Lukewarm water is gentle and allows the oatmeal to effectively release its healing properties.

Add colloidal oatmeal to the water

Once the bathtub is filled with water, it’s time to add colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oats that easily dissolve in water, creating a milky bath that coats your skin. It effectively forms a protective barrier, moisturizing and soothing your eczema-prone skin.

Soak for 15-20 minutes

After adding colloidal oatmeal to the water, mix it thoroughly to ensure even distribution. Then, immerse yourself in the oatmeal bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. Take this time to relax and let the oatmeal work its magic on your skin. During the bath, you’ll notice a noticeable reduction in itching, redness, and inflammation.

Pat dry gently

After you’ve finished soaking, gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Avoid rubbing your skin, as it can cause further irritation. Instead, aim to lightly dab or press the towel against your skin to remove excess moisture. Leaving a little moisture on your skin helps lock in hydration from the bath, promoting long-lasting relief.

Oatmeal baths can be incorporated into your routine as often as needed, depending on the severity of your eczema symptoms. For the best results, follow up with a moisturizer to further hydrate your skin and seal in the benefits of the oatmeal bath.

Avoid Triggers

Identify and avoid triggers

Identifying and avoiding triggers is an essential step in managing your eczema symptoms overnight. Every individual’s triggers can vary, but common culprits include certain fabrics, soaps, detergents, and environmental factors. Pay close attention to your surroundings and note any patterns or correlations between flare-ups and potential triggers.

Common triggers include certain fabrics, soaps, and detergents

Fabrics like wool or synthetics can be irritating to sensitive skin, triggering eczema flare-ups. Opt for gentle, breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo, which are less likely to cause irritation. Similarly, certain soaps and detergents can contain harsh chemicals or fragrances that can exacerbate your eczema symptoms. Look for fragrance-free and hypoallergenic options to minimize potential triggers.

Use fragrance-free and gentle products

Choosing fragrance-free and gentle products is crucial for individuals with eczema. Fragrances can be highly irritating, even causing allergic reactions in some cases. By using fragrance-free products, you reduce the risk of triggering eczema flare-ups and minimize further irritation to your skin. Additionally, opt for gentle cleansers and moisturizers specifically designed for sensitive skin.

Wear breathable clothing

The clothing you wear can have a significant impact on your eczema symptoms. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo, which allow air to circulate and prevent excessive sweating. Avoid tight clothing, as it can trap moisture and heat, leading to increased skin irritation and discomfort. By choosing breathable clothing, you create an environment that minimizes the risk of triggering eczema flare-ups.

Keep the bedroom cool and well-ventilated

Creating a cool and well-ventilated environment in your bedroom can greatly benefit your eczema-prone skin. Warm and humid conditions can promote sweating and increase the risk of moisture becoming trapped on your skin, leading to irritation and itching. Use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature and ensure proper airflow, allowing your skin to breathe and minimizing the risk of overnight flare-ups.

By identifying and avoiding triggers, you can take proactive steps in managing your eczema and preventing overnight flare-ups. Creating a skin-friendly environment and choosing gentle products are essential for keeping your skin calm and comfortable.


Use a humidifier in the bedroom

Dry air can be particularly harsh on eczema-prone skin, leading to increased dryness and itching. Introducing a humidifier into your bedroom can help combat this issue by adding moisture to the air, which in turn benefits your skin. Humidifiers are especially helpful during the winter months when indoor heating systems tend to create overly dry environments.

Maintain a humidity level between 40-50%

When using a humidifier, aim to maintain a humidity level between 40-50% in your bedroom. This range is ideal for keeping the air moist enough to prevent excessive dryness without creating an environment that promotes mold or bacteria growth. Investing in a hygrometer, a device that measures humidity levels, can help you monitor and adjust the settings on your humidifier accordingly.

Moisture in the air can help prevent dryness and itching

The added moisture in the air from a humidifier can help prevent your skin from becoming excessively dry, reducing the risk of itching and discomfort. By keeping the air humidified, you promote healthy hydration levels in your skin, minimizing the likelihood of eczema flare-ups overnight. Additionally, moisturizers and treatments tend to be more effective in a moist environment, allowing your skin to absorb and retain moisture more efficiently.

Clean the humidifier regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth

To ensure the continued benefits of using a humidifier, it’s essential to clean it regularly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria within the device. Neglecting proper cleaning can lead to the release of harmful allergens that can worsen eczema symptoms and compromise your overall health.

Consider using a cool mist humidifier

Cool mist humidifiers are often recommended for individuals with eczema, as the cool mist they produce does not have the potential to cause burns or scalds. Cool mist humidifiers use a small internal fan that blows air over a wet wick or filter, dispersing a fine mist into the room. This mist helps add moisture to the air, benefiting your skin without introducing the risk of heat-related injuries.

Using a humidifier in your bedroom can significantly improve your eczema symptoms overnight. By maintaining an optimal humidity level and keeping the air moist, you create an environment that promotes healthy, hydrated skin, ultimately reducing the frequency and severity of eczema flare-ups.

Topical Steroids

Consult a dermatologist

When over-the-counter remedies and lifestyle changes alone aren’t sufficient in managing your eczema symptoms, it may be time to consider topical steroids. However, it is crucial to consult a dermatologist before using any pharmaceutical products. Your dermatologist can assess the severity of your eczema and determine if topical steroids are the appropriate course of action for your specific case.

Prescription topical steroids can help reduce inflammation

Topical steroids are medicated creams, ointments, or lotions that contain corticosteroids. Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune response in the affected area. These medications are available in varying strengths, and your dermatologist will prescribe the appropriate strength and duration for your specific needs. Topical steroids can be highly effective in reducing redness, itching, and inflammation caused by eczema.

Apply the medication as directed

When using topical steroids, it’s crucial to follow your dermatologist’s instructions precisely. They will provide you with detailed guidelines on how often to apply the medication, the amount to use, and the duration of treatment. It’s important not to exceed the recommended dosage or duration, as prolonged use of topical steroids may lead to side effects. Applying the medication as directed ensures optimal results while minimizing the risk of complications.

Avoid using on the face or sensitive areas

Topical steroids should be used with caution, especially when it comes to sensitive areas of skin, such as the face or groin. These areas can be more prone to developing side effects from long-term use of steroids. Your dermatologist will advise you on suitable alternatives or specific instructions for these areas, ensuring your safety and comfort throughout the treatment.

Follow the recommended treatment duration

To achieve the best results, it’s important to follow the recommended treatment duration provided by your dermatologist. Even if your symptoms improve before the scheduled end of the treatment, completing the prescribed duration helps prevent flare-ups and ensure the long-lasting effects of the medication. Abruptly stopping the use of topical steroids can cause a rebound effect and worsen your eczema symptoms.

Topical steroids prescribed by a dermatologist can be a valuable tool in managing your eczema by effectively reducing inflammation and providing much-needed relief. By working closely with your dermatologist, you can ensure the safe and appropriate use of these medications, leading to improved skin health and a better quality of life.

Avoid Scratching

Keep nails short and clean

Nail hygiene is an essential aspect of eczema management, as scratching can worsen symptoms and lead to skin damage and infections. Keep your nails short and trimmed to minimize the impact of scratching on your skin. Regularly clean under your nails to remove any dirt or potential irritants. Trimming your nails not only reduces the damage caused by scratching but also discourages you from scratching vigorously.

Wear gloves at night to prevent scratching

If you struggle with scratching during sleep, wearing gloves or mittens can act as a physical barrier, preventing your fingers from coming into direct contact with your skin. When your hands are covered, it creates a reminder not to scratch, reducing damage to the skin. Additionally, gloves or mittens promote a sense of friction that helps alleviate itching, allowing you to sleep more comfortably.

Distract yourself when feeling the urge to scratch

When the urge to scratch becomes overwhelming, distracting yourself can be an effective strategy to divert your attention away from the itchiness. Engage in activities that require the use of your hands, such as knitting, drawing, or playing instruments. By occupying your mind and hands, you’ll be less likely to succumb to the temptation to scratch.

Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion

When the itching becomes unbearable, over-the-counter anti-itch creams or lotions can provide temporary relief. These products typically contain ingredients like hydrocortisone, which have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce itching sensations. However, it’s important to remember that these topical treatments only offer temporary relief and do not address the underlying cause of your eczema. Consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on the appropriate use and duration of these products.

Consider seeking psychological support for managing itching

Eczema often goes beyond the physical symptoms and can significantly impact your emotional well-being. The constant itching and discomfort can lead to frustration, anxiety, and even depression. Seeking psychological support, such as counseling or therapy, can provide you with coping strategies and techniques to manage the psychological impact of eczema, including the urge to scratch. Mental health professionals can help you develop effective tools to navigate the challenges associated with eczema and improve your overall quality of life.

By avoiding scratching, you minimize the risk of skin damage and infection, allowing your skin to heal and recover from eczema flare-ups. Incorporating strategies such as nail care, gloves, distraction techniques, and anti-itch treatments can significantly reduce the impact of scratching and provide relief.


Oral antihistamines for itching relief

When dealing with severe itching caused by eczema, oral antihistamines can provide relief. These medications work by blocking histamine receptors in the body, reducing itchiness and helping you get a good night’s sleep. Over-the-counter antihistamines like diphenhydramine or cetirizine can be effective in managing mild symptoms. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate dosing and to discuss potential interactions or side effects.

Prescription immunosuppressant drugs in severe cases

For individuals with severe eczema that is unresponsive to other treatment options, prescription immunosuppressant drugs may be considered. These medications work by suppressing the immune system, reducing inflammation, and minimizing the immune response responsible for eczema flare-ups. It’s crucial to understand that these medications carry potential risks and side effects, and they should only be used under the close supervision of a healthcare professional.

Discuss medication options with a healthcare professional

When considering medication for your eczema, it’s essential to have an open and honest discussion with a healthcare professional. They can assess the severity of your symptoms, review your medical history, and discuss the potential benefits and risks of different medication options. Working together, you can determine the most suitable course of action tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Follow the prescribed dosage and instructions

Once you and your healthcare professional have decided upon an appropriate medication, it’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions precisely. Some medications may require specific timing or instructions, such as taking them with food or avoiding certain foods or beverages simultaneously. Following the recommended guidelines ensures optimal effectiveness and minimizes the risk of complications.

Be aware of potential side effects

As with any medication, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects. Familiarize yourself with the possible adverse reactions associated with the medication, and consult your healthcare professional if you experience any unusual symptoms or changes in health. Open communication with your healthcare provider helps to manage and address any concerns or issues that may arise.

Medication can be a beneficial component of eczema management, especially for individuals with more severe or persistent symptoms. However, it’s crucial to approach medication with caution, following professional guidance and monitoring your body’s response for optimal results.

Stress Management

Practice stress-reducing techniques

Stress is known to trigger or worsen eczema flare-ups in many individuals. That’s why incorporating stress-reducing techniques into your daily routine is vital for managing eczema symptoms overnight. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you, and remember to prioritize self-care and relaxation.

Try relaxation exercises like deep breathing or meditation

Deep breathing exercises and meditation are powerful tools for calming the mind and reducing stress. Allocate a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing or guided meditation. These exercises can help alleviate anxiety, promote relaxation, and decrease the likelihood of stress-induced eczema flare-ups.

Engage in enjoyable activities to distract from stress

Finding activities that bring you joy and help distract from stress is an excellent strategy for managing eczema symptoms overnight. Engage in hobbies, spend time with loved ones, read a book, or listen to soothing music. By immersing yourself in activities that bring you happiness, you can shift your focus away from stressors and promote a sense of calm and well-being.

Consider therapy or counseling to manage stress

Sometimes, stress can become overwhelming, and managing it alone may be challenging. In such cases, seeking therapy or counseling can provide you with a safe space to explore and address the underlying causes of your stress. A mental health professional can help you develop effective coping mechanisms and support you in managing the emotional impact of eczema.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and sleep

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for overall well-being and can help reduce stress levels. Engage in regular physical exercise, which has been shown to release endorphins, improve mood, and lower stress. Additionally, prioritize quality sleep, as lack of sleep can exacerbate stress levels and trigger eczema flare-ups. Aim for a consistent sleep routine and create a sleep-friendly environment to enhance your restorative sleep.

By implementing stress-reducing techniques and prioritizing self-care, you can significantly reduce stress levels, manage eczema symptoms, and improve your overall quality of life.

In conclusion, managing eczema overnight is an achievable goal with the right strategies and techniques in place. By following the steps outlined above, including choosing a thick moisturizer, incorporating wet wrap therapy, utilizing cool compresses, taking oatmeal baths, avoiding triggers, using humidifiers, considering topical steroids under professional guidance, avoiding scratching, exploring medication options, and practicing stress management, you can effectively reduce inflammation, relieve itching, and promote skin healing. Remember to consult with healthcare professionals, such as dermatologists or therapists, for personalized recommendations and guidance. With consistent care and dedication, you can wake up to healthier, more comfortable skin each day.