General, Research, Technology

Why does itching occur on the skin and how do scientists suggest treating it?

Each of us had an itch on the skin - thisthe sensation of an unpleasant tingling and burning sensation, which one wants to remove by scratching, is simply impossible to forget. This type of skin irritation can be caused by stress, insect bites and exposure to chemicals, but more often it appears as part of a person’s allergic reaction. For example, if ticks of mites living in house dust get on the skin of a person, they are accepted by the body as foreign and very hazardous substances. A person immediately turns on immunity, which tries to destroy them. In the process of this "war", where mites may not initially cause us much harm, immunity erroneously damages human cells and tissues. It is believed that subsequently these lesions on the skin activate a lot of nerve cells, as a result of which unpleasant sensations appear. Scientists' knowledge of exactly how itching occurs is not yet accurate, but American researchers have recently made quite a big discovery.

In addition to allergies, itching can be burns, frostbite, and even diabetes

Human skin structure

According to the scientific journal Cell Reports, the teamScientists under the guidance of Professor Santosha Misra managed to find a protein that literally "includes" burning and tingling sensations on the skin. Itching is known to occur on a layer of skin called epidermis. It is this layer that we see when we look at the body - it is the topmost and almost entirely consists of cells called keratinocytes. It is noteworthy that not only the external part of our body is covered with the epidermis, but also the oral cavity and even the internal organs of respiration, digestion and so on.

Violet color shows the layers that make up the human epidermis

So, in the course of scientific work, scientists found that between the cells of the upper layer of the skin contains protein periostin. It helps cells exchange information andthereby plays a large role in the restoration of the skin after physical damage such as cuts and burns. The researchers became interested - maybe this protein somehow affects the nerve endings of the skin, the activity of which causes unpleasant sensations? They decided to find out the answer to this question empirically, during an experiment on laboratory mice.

Periostin - a protein that helps epidermal cellsshare information. Scientists are confident that it also plays a role in the development of heart valves and the occurrence of asthma and the study of its functions is still ongoing.

How to get rid of itching?

At the disposal of scientists were mice with allergieson home dust mites. These tiny creatures of no more than 0.5 millimeters in size live in almost every home, especially if the room has beds, sofas and pillows. They feed on dead skin cells of people and secrete substances that, when ingested, cause allergies. And all because immunity begins to try to destroy them and at the same time influence the processes occurring in living tissues.

There are about 150 species of dust mites in the world and they crawl near you while you sleep. Awful, right?

In a laboratory study, scientistsfound that when dust mites affect the organisms of mice, the amount of periostin protein increases noticeably between the cells of their skin. Then this protein really bound to nerve cells and activated them - the mice began to itch actively, that is, they developed intolerable itching. But when scientists suppressed the production of periostin in mice, they ceased to itch over time.

Scientists made the mice itch, but then saved them from itching. With a stretch, but at least some good news

It can be said that American scientists have discovereda method for treating skin itching caused by an allergic reaction. At least, reducing the production of periostin works in mice, but whether this method is effective in eliminating itching in humans is not yet clear. The likelihood that the technology works in humans is also high, but more research should be done before creating the medicine. After all, who knows - suddenly, after taking the developed medicine or applying the miracle gel, people will experience side effects that are even more unpleasant than itching?

Then I recalled an article that Oleg Dovbnya wrote in 2013. According to him, itching can be removed with mint.

At the moment, get rid of allergicitching can only be cured by the allergy itself or by eliminating the factors that cause them. If allergic reactions have arisen due to dust mites, it is necessary to ventilate the room more often, carry out wet cleaning and wash bedding.

Finally, I want to recommend you an article by IvanMatyukhina about a woman who lived with an allergy to water. When she drank some kind of liquid, she felt like her entire throat was covered with bleeding inflammations. It sounds creepy, and therefore interesting - read about that unusual phenomenon in this material.