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Why are paper cuts so painful

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A large number of nerve endings on the fingers and the effect of surprise make such a cut especially painful, writes Mail.Ru Health.

Photo: pixabay.com

This situation is familiar to everyone: you leaf through pages in a book or open an envelope - and suddenly you feel a sharp pain in the fingertip. Blood with this type of cut is usually a little released, but it is very painful and may not heal for a long time.

As a dermatologist at the University of California, Los Angeles medical center, Haley Goldbach, explained in an interview with The Daily Mail, one of the main causes of paper soreness is because the fingertip is affected, where an extremely large number of nerve endings that send pain impulses to the brain, which means that sensitivity is very increased.

You should also not discount the effect of surprise - everything happens so quickly that you do not have time to understand anything, you simply do not have time to pull your hand away.

And since we, as a rule, are not mentally prepared for the fact that paper can hurt us, a sudden cut is perceived especially painfully. “Usually we are very careful when handling a knife, because we know that this is a potentially dangerous item, but not with paper. Therefore, the cut in this case is an absolute surprise, we do not expect it, ”Goldbach explained.

Another cause of extreme pain is the paper itself.

This material looks soft and seems to touch, but if you look under a microscope, you can see that the edge of the paper sheet is very sharp, even jagged. In addition, the paper contains various fibers that can remain in the wound, which does not happen when cut with a knife or razor. The fibers that get into the wound can cause inflammation, so it’s important to immediately wash the paper cut with soap and running water, and then glue it with a plaster to prevent infection, Goldbach emphasized.

Paper cuts are usually very superficial, due to which they can bleed for a long time and heal for a long time.

The fact is that with a deep cut, the healing mechanism is turned on - blood clots are formed to stop bleeding, then a crust protecting the wound is formed, under which new skin grows. However, the paper edge cuts deep enough to affect the nerve endings, but not enough to enable the healing mechanism. In addition, since the wound is on the finger, and you can’t stop using your hands during the day, there is a constant additional trauma, which further slows down the healing process of the paper cut.

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