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Don’t Scratch that Itch.

Bugs and pests are not one of life’s most wonderful things. Although they all have their own important role to play they can often leave us squirming and itchy.

We have all been then. When people tell us that their children have headlice or they have had to take their beloved itchy dogs or cats to the vets, we immediately start feeling like our skin in crawling, itching uncontrollably for no logical reason whatsoever. It can seem that itching can be metaphorically contagious. Much in the same way as a person yawning can in a matter of minutes have the whole room doing the same.

The problem lies more in psychology than it does in biology. When someone mentions fleas, lice or any other little pest our bodies can produce a psychosomatic response. Your mind not only reminds you of what it feels to have them crawling over you, but it also prepares you for the possibility that those bugs may actually jump across to you. This then triggers you into feeling itchy and then the inevitable scratching occurs. Of courses scratching an itch leads into a vicious itch/scratch cycle that sometimes seems almost impossible to break.

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Many studies have been undertaken looking at the power of what we see, hear and feel then producing unconscious thoughts in our brains which can then result in a bodily response. The British Journal of Dermatology undertook an experiment where they simply exposed the subjects to images, both ones related to itching or insects that may make you itch, and ‘non-itchy’ subject matter. They found that images can have an affect on individuals causing them to both feel itchy and even begin scratching themselves.

Itching can of course be a symptom of numerous issues. These range from the mild annoyances to the more severe medical conditions. The most common causes of itching include allergies, sunburn, reactions to substances such as chemicals and perfumes, medications, infections and good old insect bites and stings. Remedies for each of these causes will vary depending on the severity and reason and medical advice should be sought if necessary.

There are many  home remedies for itching for humans such as baking soda, oatmeal and ice cubes. Many of these remedies have been used for centuries. Baking Soda and oatmeal in particular were used in the past to help treat the annoying itching associated with chicken pox.

Sometimes it is not only ourselves that itch. Although it appears that only humans are susceptible to the psychosomatic responses to itching. The animals in our lives tend to scratch as a direct response to something affecting their skin. Either an insect or flea bite, an unexpected movement in their hair follicles and sun burn and heat.  If you are looking for something to help relieve itching in your beloved pet, take a look at https://www.stinky-stuff.co.uk/product-cat/dog-remedies/.

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