The Truth About Itching

Mosquitoes love to make a banquet out of me. Even insect repellents don't keep the vampiric insects at bay for long.

Have you every had a mosquito bite or a case of poison ivy that threatened to drive you insane with the unbearable itching that follows?

This year, mosquito bite seem to be extra itchy. I try not to scratch. In the day when I'm coated with Caladryl, it's not so bad. At night, I seem to scratch in my sleep.

Real Relief On The Way

As frustrating as constant itching is, the itch response actually serves a purpose. It's an early warning system for the body.

Some medical conditions like cancer can cause the kind of itching that makes someone really suffer. It's no laughing matter when someone scratches until they bleed. If that happens to you, a doctor consultation should be scheduled.

For chronic sufferers of itching due to other reasons, relief may soon be at hand. Scientists have finally been able to separate the itch response from the pain response.

Up until now, the nerve pathways seemed to involve both, but now they clearly identify the itch-specific cells in the spinal cord.

In the simplest terms, an experiment was conducted with white mice that had their itch receptors "disconnected" or killed. They were then exposed to something that made them itch, but most of them didn't scratch.

Everything else about the mice was normal. Of course, who knows what might happen in a human if the itch receptor was removed, but researchers eventually may be able to use this knowledge to help humans who suffer abnormal itching.

Takeaway Truth

Slowly, medical mysteries of the human body will be solved. (By the way, Caladryl comes in a clear formulation, if you don't like to look as if you're wearing pink polka dots.)

1 comment:

  1. In addition to mosquitoes making me itch, I'm allergic to them. I really hate the little insects. Interesting to learn about the advance in itch control.