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SCIENCE FILE | I Didn't Know That ...

September 26, 1996

Q: Why do we itch?

A: According to UCLA dermatologist Dr. Richard Strick, the nerves responsible for the itch sensation always fire at a low level that the brain routinely ignores. When the nerve endings fire at a higher rate because of irritation or inflammation, the brain's threshold is surpassed and the brain recognizes those signals as an itch.

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