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mzehnich's avatar

Why do wounds and cuts itch?

Asked by mzehnich (277 points ) February 20th, 2010

As if the pain wasn’t enough, why does the skin/flesh near an area that is cut or otherwise wounded tend to be more “itchy” than other areas of the body? A subconscious thing, perhaps? Or just the side-effect of the body’s natural healing procedures?

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

“There are numerous theories about it, but it’s generally agreed upon that a wound itches when histamine is released by the cells in response to physical trauma and the introduction of some type of bacteria. Histamine is a substance produced by the body that can cause an allergic type of reaction when it is released; this explains the itchy skin one might experience when dealing with a wound.

Just how the process is triggered is a more scientific explanation. When the skin’s nerve endings are stimulated enough to itch, the sensation is transmitted to the body’s C-fibers. The fibers, in turn, respond to the sensation by essentially “delivering” the itch to the skin surrounding the nerve endings. The result is an itchy, uncomfortable wound. ”

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knitfroggy's avatar

My grandma always told us that itching meant the sore was healing up.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

@knitfroggy that is what my grandma says too. :)

knitfroggy's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1 Grandma’s know most everything there is that is important to know!

frigate1985's avatar

My mom said its because new flesh is forming :)

Harrow185's avatar

Its getting better, cell division is happening or cell reproduction (forming more skin to close the wound)

mattbrowne's avatar

An evolutionary reminder to take it easy.

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