Mystery Finally Revealed: Why Do Paper Cuts Hurt So Bad?


At least once in your life, someone must have heard you shouting at the top of your lungs to ease your pain: Chop it, chop the whole finger off!

We're all familiar with the scene…

There it is, laying in ambush when you’re reading a book, waiting in line for the Xerox machine, maybe even when you’re on the toilet reading your magazine...

At first, a sharp pain captures your whole body. Your soul is summoned by heavenly beings…

Some enjoy a masochistic pain from it. But you can’t even bear the thought, can you?

But why does a tiny little damn cut hurt so bad?

First of all, let me get this straight: Under normal conditions, your finger is very unlikely to be cut by a piece of paper.

Because paper is not hard enough to be so sharp, but its thinness compensates. The tip of the piece of paper exerts a huge amount of pressure since the surface of it is really, really narrow. So there goes the blood.

Now comes the “pain” part...

Our fingertips are rich with nerves and a papercut is large and long enough to stimulate too many of them at the same time. Since the cut is usually too thin to bleed much, these nerves come in contact with air and the receptors are left open.

The annoying pain of a paper cut comes from this contact with the air, as the receptors send continual signals to the brain.

There is one more reason why it hurts...

Sometimes a paper cut can be very deep, which causes the blood to leak very slowly and pool inside the cut. This way, the chemicals in the fiber, such as bleach, enter our system and inflict pain. It’s the second reason why paper cuts can be so hurtful.

Like all small and shallow cuts, paper cuts can heal on their own.

However, you may want to use a bandage to cover it after cleaning it with cool water since it might cause you trouble during the day, as your hands probably never stop working. Most of the time, a paper cut heals in 2-3 days and the pain goes away completely.

So, there you are, at least you’ll know what’s happening and tell yourself that this is just basic biology the next time you're screaming in pain :)

Well, what do you think about paper cuts?

Damn it! Damn that little asshole.
You have no idea what a real pain is like…
I don’t know, never happened to me.
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