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Why Do We Itch?

My skin gets mighty itchy thanks to eczema and dryness that never seems to go away no matter how much lotion I put on my skin, and during the winter the itching gets so bad I often scratch my skin raw.

But the itches that bother me the most are the ones that seem to come out of nowhere when I'm starting to fall asleep, or the ones that attack from all sides when I'm in the middle of playing a game or working on an art project.

These phantom itches seem to have no relation to dryness or eczema, so where the hell do they come from and what is their purpose?

(YouTube Link)

This TED talk by Emma Bryce, with animation by Sashko Danylenko, reveals that itching is a result of our bodies evolving to become acutely aware of touch, and the itch signals "are transmitted via a subclass of the nerves associated with pain". So basically itching is a real pain!


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