The all consuming urge to itch is definitely recognisable to an eczema or urticaria sufferer, and as they effectively know – scratching an itch at all times makes it worse!
Scientists in Washington are claiming to have labored out why.
Physician Zhou-Feng Chen, director of Washington College’s Centre for the (splendidly named) “Research of Itch”, has discovered that scratching causes the mind to launch serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation.
Once we scratch our pores and skin, it interferes with the alerts that our mind is receiving. As a substitute of choosing upon the itch, it recognises the ache of the scratch, inflicting the discharge of pain-numbing serotonin.
As this serotonin spreads from the mind into the spinal wire, it may well turn into misplaced and transfer from neurons that sense ache to nerve cells that affect the depth of an itch.
This research was carried out on mice, which is clearly not one thing I condone. Nonetheless, it’s fascinating meals for thought and one thing to encourage you to go away that itch alone!