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Tue, Mar 15

Closer to a Cure for Itching?

Whether it’s the result of a mosquito bite, an allergic reaction, or dry skin, few sensations are quite as irritating as the itch. There are dozens of causes of itchiness, yet despite its banality it remains notoriously difficult to classify its cellular mechanisms of action, and as a result, treat. But thanks to new research coming out of Duke University, we’re closer than ever to developing a cure for the itch.

Technically, an itch is just defined as the sensation which results in the reflex to scratch. Some have likened it to pain, and while both pain and itchiness are unpleasant sensations, they result in opposite responses: a painful area will result in a withdrawal reflex whereas itching leads to scratching. Moreover, pain and itchiness are apparently antagonistic insofar as scratching is seen as a method of inflicting pain to relieve itchiness.

Read the full story at Motherboard.