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Paper Cut, Why must You Hurt so Much?

I'm an engineer. Engineers make plans. Plans are on big thick sheets of paper. Big thick sheets of paper are sharp and cutty. I got cut. Cuts hurt. Bad. Especially when they are under your fingernail. Oh. My. God. Yes, under the fingernail. It is the most painful thing I think I've ever experienced. Worse than my wisdom teeth, for sure. OK, maybe not worse than breaking the tail bone, but, damn, this shit hurts!

Why, Mr. Paper Cut, why must you hurt so much?

I was highly interested in why paper cuts hurt so damn much, and, wouldn't you know it, other people are too. Just go google "why do paper cuts hurt so much" (without quotes). It's amazing how many other people are freaks like me. I found one article from ABC News. It is really quite interesting. Here are the theories (just that, theories) on why it is so painful to get a paper cut:
    1. Our hands have more nociceptors--"the nerve fibers that send touch and pain messages to our brain, particularly the somatosensory cortex"--than other parts of our bodies. This makes us feel the pain more when there is a damage to our hands.
    2. "Paper is sharp, but it's duller than knives and razors. It's also more flimsy than needles and rocks. [...] The flexible, relatively dull edge of paper means paper cuts never go very deep. But while a dull, shallow cut sounds less painful, pain specialists say it's worse. First, the dull edge of the paper is more likely to rip flesh than tear it. 'This means paper could do more microscopic damage,' says Eastman."
    3. "The microscopic damage hits the most sensitive nerves, too. The concentrated nerves on the hands have a very low threshold to activate and send a signal to the brain, says Dr. Carmen R. Green, associate professor of pain medicine at the University of Michigan. Meanwhile, larger nerves, which send dull aching pain, are tucked safely away deeper in the flesh."
So, there you have it. Paper cuts ARE more painful. It isn't just all in your head. Imagine that...

And, now, for the solution: cover it--with Vaseline, liquid bandage, or super glue. It will help the cut seal (it doesn't seal well because it doesn't bleed enough to clot because it is so shallow a cut) and you will feel all better!


  1. That's like scraping a chalk board. You hurt just thinking about it. I hate that.

  2. It's amazing how many other people are freaks like me.

    It's like we're cyber twins separated at birth!

    Oh, and hope it heals soon sis.

  3. Cyber twins made by cyber sex, I guess.
    Yay! Another brother from another mother!


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