Why do we itch? Why does scratching feel so good?

Itchy and Scratchy?

Professor Hallux

Here’s what Professor Hallux has to say:

Hello Professor Hallux… What makes us itch? And why does scratching feel so nice?

That’s a good one! Our skin has a defence system of nerves that make us aware of annoying things that touch our body. It could be something like an insect – maybe a mosquito.

Of course there’s all sorts of other things can cause our skin to become itchy – chemicals we might have touched, infections or illnesses we might have caught, even something we ate. Your nerves will send a message to your brain and what happens next?

Ahh! That’s better! It’s likely that you’ll have a good scratch! Scratching is your body’s way of dislodging whatever it is that’s causing the irritation. It feels nice, to encourage us to remove the tickle to keep the body from being harmed.

But remember, if it was something like a mosquito bothering you, a scratch might get him to buzz off but as you know if you’ve had a rash – scratching can make some itches worse! So make sure you tell your parents about any rashes, and try not to scratch.

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