When an insect bite or an allergy to some cream which you had applied sparks off an itch, you promptly feel an urge to scratch that area to get relief. Has it ever occurred to you as to why scratching an itch feels so good? Researchers do have an answer.
A study conducted by Dr. Gil Yosipovitch, a dermatologist from
, has revealed that scratching temporarily numbs the part of the brain linked to unpleasant thoughts and memories. And the more intensely a person was scratched, the less activity they found in these areas of the brain. Dr Yosipovitch explains: It’s quite possible that scratching suppresses the emotional components of the itch and brings about relief.” It has also been found why one scratch often begets another. Scratching also raises activity in brain regions related to compulsion – so that explains why we sometimes can't help but feel like sitting for hours and hours just to scratch. North Carolina
If you are curious to know about this phenomenon of itching, here’s a brief synopsis of the explanation given by Prof. Mark A. W. Andrews. An itch, also known as pruritus, is a general sensation arising from the irritation of skin cells or nerve cells associated with the skin. It serves as an important sensory and self-protective mechanism to alert us against harmful external agents, but can become unbearable if not treated. It is a dominant symptom of many skin diseases and also occurs in some diseases that affect the entire body. More…
Now for those of who you have a niggling question about why such an innocuous thing as itching is being given so much of importance, when there are several other medical issues plaguing mankind, Dr Yosipovitch, in an interview to Newsweek gives a befitting rejoinder. Excerpts: “You may get a mosquito bite, scratch it for a while and then move on. But for many people itching is chronic and debilitating problem. Millions of people with eczema, scabies, liver and renal problems, some types of cancers and diseases like HIV, itching can be real nightmare. They literally scratch themselves raw and cannot sleep at night. Their quality of life can be destroyed. And they can get serious infections and scarring from scratching so much.” More…
By the way here are some effective home-remedies when you are bugged by this problem of itching. Instead of scratching yourself to death, try some of these. Very helpful in easing symptoms of moderate to severe itching.
* Tamarind (Imli) pulp which is a common item in most South Indian kitchens is a life-saver in cases of moderate to severe itching. Soak the dry tamarind pulp in water for a few minutes and then squeeze out its paste to apply on the affected areas. This provides almost immediate relief.
* Sandalwood (Chandan) and Red sandalwood (Rakta Chandan) pastes can also be applied on the affected areas to soothe itching.
* Application of pure honey may also provide relief
* Grind fresh neem leaves and apply on the affected parts. Paste of Tulsi (Basil) leaves is also beneficial.
* You may also collect leaves of neem, lime/lemon, Tulsi (Basil) and Bael and put a handful of each of these varieties in water and boil. Drain this decoction and mix it with lukewarm water in your bathtub. After your bath, dry yourself with a clean towel and sprinkle sandal dust all over your body.
* You may grind guava (Amrud) leaves with a teaspoon of turmeric (Haldi) powder into a smooth paste and apply it on the affected parts.
* You can also mix equal parts of powdered Ajwain (Bishop’s weed/thymol seseds) and turmeric powder in water and apply this paste.
* Rubbing pure neem oil (coconut/olive oil if neem oil is not available) also helps to relieve an itch.
* Application of pineapple juice might also help.
* Mix powdered Ajwain (thymol seeds) with onion juice and apply it on your skin for relief. This also helps with rashes.
Related Posts That You May Like: