News Stories

Why Do We Scratch That Itch?

Most of the time, it doesn't seem to help - Why does scratching help when we itch? It's one of those things that most of us never think about?but scientists do?especially if they're trying to find a cure for excessive itching. For many types of itches, it is not clear that the sensation serves any clear purpose

Scratching an itch helps relieve it by blocking the nerve cells that transmit the itch to the brain. BBC News quotes itch expert Gil Yosipovitch as saying, "Although there is a long way to go, methods that can induce a pleasurable scratch sensation without damaging the skin, via mechanical stimuli or drugs that can inhibit these neurons, could be developed to treat chronic itch."

But scientists still don't understand why the body behaves this way?that is, why it makes us feel the itch AND the relief when we scratch it. BBC News quotes neuroscientist Paul Bays as saying, "?It is still unclear why scratching should have this effect, or why it is only effective for itches and not for painful sensations?which are transmitted to the brain through the same pathway."

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

Lots of our readers tell us that they had such a great time at last year's Dreamland Festival that they're itching to get back to Nashville again?and we've put some of their testimonials up on this week?s Dreamland. So scratch that itch and come to this year's Dreamland Festival on June 26-28?and remember: subscribers get 10% off the ticket price!

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