There are few things in this world that can satisfy everything we need, but sometimes it can feel as though a good scratch is a perfect place to start - especially when we get that hard to reach spot. However, we can’t help by wonder why scratching an itch is so satisfying after all. Our bodies are wonderful things, and occasionally it can be the little things that feel so good to our brains.
What is an itch?
An itch is typically pretty simple. They are sensations on the skin that come in all shapes and sizes. Some feel like little tickles while other itches can feel almost painful. Itches are often uncomfortable and can often leave many of us wanting to scratch them away. But why? That’s all down to the nerve cells in our skin. They are in charge of detecting anything touching our skin or any changes to the surface of our skin that might need to be addressed by our brains.
What makes us itch?
There can be many things that make us itch. Thermal, mechanical, and chemical stimulants can ll see many of us looking to scratch our skin depending on what has triggered the response. That’s not all. Itching can also be caused by biting insects. Any stimulant sends a message to our brains that there’s something on our skin, and we often reach for the scratch without even thinking about it. However, there might be a good reason that scratching an itch is so satisfying.
Why do we scratch?
Scratching is a natural response, but why would our bodies want to scratch themselves? There’s a good reason. Scratching can be the perfect response to any biting insect as we can often shoo them away before they do too much damage. That’s not all. It can also act as a distraction to the other signals that are being sent to our brains.
The scratching sensation
To top it off, scratching can release touch and pain receptors in the same area at the same time. These low-level signals can often override any itching feeling we might have on our skin. Our brains then have a chance to release serotonin - a pain-relieving neurotransmitter - and it looks as though our minds just can’t get enough of the good stuff. In fact, we can literally become addicted to scratching for a short period of time.
It looks as though scratching an itch is so satisfying all thanks to our brains looking for its next boost of feel-good hormones. Yes, all those itches can soon become addictive thanks to the chemicals in our mind. It seems that those hard to reach spots can be just that little bit more satisfying thanks to finally getting to the bottom of the itch that has been giving us trouble all day. It might feel as though we need a grand adventure to keep us happy, but it turns out that scratching a good itch could be all we need after all. Whoever would have thought?