Why Do You Itch?


Health Editor’s Note: We all have had a time or times when we need our backs scratched.  That feels sooooo good!  There are lots of reasons for the need to scratch.  Scratching is not always a relief from the itch.  Find out why…..Carol

The Science of Itching and Why Scratching Feels So Good

By Anne Marie Helmenstine, PhD./ThoughtCo

Humans and other animals itch for a variety of reasons. Scientists believe the underlying purpose of the annoying sensation (called pruritus) is so we can remove parasites and irritants and protect our skin. However, other things can lead to itching, including drugs, diseases, and even a psychosomatic response.

  • Itching is a sensation the produces a desire to scratch. The technical name for an itch is pruritus.
  • Itching and pain use the same unmyelinated nerve fibers in the skin, but pain causes a withdrawal reflex rather than a scratching reflex. However, itching can originate in the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system (skin).
  • Itch receptors only occur in the top two skin layers. Neuropathic itching can result from damage anywhere in the nervous system.
  • Scratching an itch feels pleasurable because the scratch fires pain receptors, causing the brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.

How Itching Works

While drugs and disease typically stimulate itching because of a chemical response, most of the time the sensation is a result of skin irritation. Whether the irritation starts from dry skin, a parasite, an insect bite, or chemical exposure, the itch-sensing nerve fibers (called pruriceptors) ….Read More:


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.


  1. Itching for no good reason is proof that:

    – “Intelligent design” is nonsense; or
    – “Intelligent design” was done by a malicious being.

Comments are closed.