Why scratching an itch only makes it worse



You said itch, and what do you know - now I have an itch.


Must stop itching… Actually, I must stop writing about itching, so that I stop itching…


Could you just not cause pain somewhere else, or would that not work?

Proof of intelligent (and malevolent) design.

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Goddamn it–the caption on that brain image!

You don’t “itch” an itch. You “scratch” an itch. Scratch. SCRATCH!!!

Why the hell do people use itch as a verb?


(To clarify, “itch” can be a verb–“My leg itches!”–but it means something different from “scratch.”)

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Point taken.

For the life of me, though, I don’t understand the “itch my back” usage that some people have a habit of.

Where does that even come from?

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I don’t get it either but I agree that it’s a grating (mis-)usage.

Proof of exploitative (and aribitrary) evolutionary selection on mosquitos. :wink:

My old man, a physician, used to get very annoyed when we scratched, 'cuz we’d break the skin.

He used to just put his fingertip on the itchy spot and jiggle the spot back and forth a few times, without even rubbing. The point was to turn off, by over-stimulating, the activated nerve endings.

/Don’t read “The Itch” if you’re very squeamish. The first part might creep you out. Mind you, the article IS interesting.

I’ve got one of those piezoelectric mosquito clickers which work really well on itchy bites without breaking the skin.
Dunno about the supposed neutralising of toxin thing, but the little electric zap from them is really good at relieving the itch.

As a child, I believed that the inability to distinguish between the word “itch” and the word “scratch” was unique to my sister. As an adult, I have come to realize that other people are morons, as well.

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I don’t scratch itches or mosquito bites.

I dremel them off then seal the wound with JB Weld. I used to just use super glue, but the heat tolerance (-67F-500F) and strength of JB (3900PSI) is superior.


I am very itchy! :frowning:

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Let me fix that with my tongue.

it’s a linguistic reconstruction of the feedback loop: to itch an itch an itch …

I’m Sylvia Stickles and i’ve got the itch!

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Ah…serotonin, right? Went to a dermatologist a few days ago and learned histamines are released when we scratch. "For ages, doctors and scientists thought itches traveled the same neural pathway as pain. That theory has changed in the past decade. “We now know that itching has its own special pathway,” says Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. " http://www.menshealth.com/spotlight/skin/stop_itching.php
So, maybe Chen’s research is dated?

Scratching overwhelms the nerves and buries the sensation for a while.

I get the same thing with two fingers. I scratch on both sides of the bug bite. It’s quite satisfying, and doesn’t even touch the bite.

Now, with a big sunburn, I’m just crap out of luck.

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