6 Stories

To Scratch That Itch, Get a ... Mirror?

Scientists hit upon unusual solution for hard-to-reach itches

(Newser) - Scientists have come upon a trick to battle hard-to-reach itches—and it doesn't require any medical gear. All you need is a mirror. The researchers in Germany injected 26 men's right arms with histamine, which causes an itch and a red mark. They then painted a similar mark... More »

This Study May Help Us Stop Itching Someday

Scientists find nerve cells devoted to making mice scratch

(Newser) - Next time you're scratching an itch, don't blame the mosquito, the bedbug, the poison ivy, or whatever else caused it. Instead, turn your ire on MrgprA3. As Scientific American explains, that's the name of a newly discovered nerve receptor that apparently has one job—to make us... More »

Itchy Skin Malady Is Imaginary: Mayo Clinic

Morgellons sufferers think they have parasites, but researchers disagree

(Newser) - This may or may not be good news to those who suffer from a malady known collectively as Morgellons disease . Patients swear they have bugs, or parasites, or something just below the skin that triggers intense itching. Mayo Clinic researchers, however, now say it's mostly in their heads, reports... More »

Itchiness Can Be Contagious

Phenomenon may have had evolutionary advantages

(Newser) - As you're sitting at your computer reading this story, you'll probably find yourself scratching random parts of your body. That's because itchiness can be contagious, as scientists recently proved for the first time. You've probably been aware of the phenomenon for a while—as with yawning, seeing someone else scratch... More »

Have an Itch? It's All In Your Spine

Urge to scratch comes from back not brain, researchers find

(Newser) - Scratching an itch may be an everyday activity, but it’s also a longstanding conundrum to scientists who have never been sure if the urge originated in the skin or the brain. Until now. A new study from University of Minnesota neuroscientists appears to show that both the itch, and... More »

That Irritating Itch? It May Just Be Your Brain

In fact, our noodles could be inventing 90% of what we call real

(Newser) - A woman suffers from an itch so severe that she scratches right through to her brain—yet doctors find no medical ailment. War victims feel the sensations of a real limb—but from phantom appendages. What does it all add up to? Perhaps a new understanding of how our brains... More »

6 Stories