Three Reasons Tiny Scraps of Paper Hurt so Much
Even the smallest cuts on the paper can cause you incessant pain that feels much more intense. This is why paper cuts are more annoying than other cuts and scratches.
Jason G. Goldman of BBC Future spoke with Dr. Haley Goldbach , a resident physician at the University of California, Los Angeles, to find out why paper cuts are more painful than most other cuts. Goldbach said it boiled down to three main reasons:
- Most paper cuts occur on your fingers, where more pain receptors are embedded in your skin than anywhere else in your body. But overall it’s good. Goldbach explains that fingertips are how we explore and perform delicate tasks, so they need a built-in safety mechanism.
- The edges of the paper look straight and smooth like a razor, but they actually look more like a serrated saw blade. When you get cut, the paper actually rips, rips and rips across your skin. Ouch.
- The paper cuts are deep enough to cut through the top layers of the skin and reach the pain receptors, but small enough that they usually do not cause severe bleeding. This means that the blood does not immediately flow to the clot, protecting and healing the wound. Your nerves are left unprotected, so they continue to send pain signals to your brain.
This is why it is so important to quickly bandage the paper cut and protect it from the elements. Otherwise, the finger will hurt for much longer. If you feel like you are cutting paper all the time, a little hand cream can help protect your poor fingers.
Why Cuts Hurt So Much | Bbc future