Why does it feel good to scratch an itch?

Professor Hallux investigates!

There’s nothing quite like a good scratch!

But did you know, scratching sore parts on our body just causes more damage to your skin? It’s best if try your best not to, however disappointing that is! 

Here’s what’s going on…

If you have a rash or a sore wound, it will be sending a lot of pain messages to your brain.

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These messages won’t stop until the damage is repaired, or you have had some medicine to stop your brain receiving these messages.

When you have a good old scratch those pain messages are replaced with messages which aren’t as strong – the scratch sort of overwrites the pain.

The trouble is, because the scratch can be making the damage worse, it will hurt for longer and take longer to heal too! So mitts off and mittens on!

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Professor Hallux’s More Physiology Fix-Up, with support from The Physiological Society!

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