What Makes A Simple Paper Cut So Painful?


It is probably one of the easiest ways to hurt yourself.

Imagine, you’re just flipping through a book and *SLIT* out of nowhere, you get a paper cut.

It is never something you expect and it usually happens just as you get really focused on the work that you’re doing. Just when you finally find yourself getting completely immersed in that exciting novel you’re reading, a sharp, white hot pain, suddenly pulls you out of that fascinating world.

When that happens, the jolt it sends to your brain ensures that there is nothing else that you can focus on. Then you find yourself trying to wish it away but what is done is done.

You cut yourself, your finger is bleeding, and you should probably be taking care of it rather than trying to undo something that has already happened.

But it’s strange, isn’t it? A paper cut is usually a small thing. In a couple of days, it will look like it never happened. It’s only at that precise moment when it happens that you feel an intense pain. Usually all you need is a simple band aid to make everything better. So why does it hurt as much as it does?

There’s actually quite a bit of science which tells us why paper cuts are so painful. We tend to get them in areas with particularly heightened sensitivity like the tips of our fingers.

Since they are meant to help us sense things through touch, the nerve endings there are specially made to ensure that we can distinguish clearly between different kinds of sensations like heat and pain. Our brain also receives messages from them in a special way.

As a clincher, these cuts are usually just deep enough to expose and excite the nerves. Fortunately, they aren’t deep enough to actually cause enough damage and destruction to your nerves to make them stop doing their job. Paper cuts hurt so much because your nerves are operating at full steam.

Dealing With A Paper Cut

When you get a paper cut, clean it as soon as you can with just soap and water. By itself it is no big thing but if it gets infected, things can go south really fast and it will take a long time to heal. Ensure that the area doesn’t get dirty and if you can, get a band aid to keep it closed.

What is really fascinating is that this simple injury actually invokes an intense emotional reaction. First, you are shocked that an easy task like turning a page could hurt you enough to make you bleed. Then you feel ashamed that you’ve managed to injure yourself while doing something so uncomplicated. The next stage is anger as you get annoyed with yourself for the pain. Next comes the inevitable anxiety that you’ll do it to yourself again. Like I said, fascinating right?

These little cuts serve to make us remember that even the easiest of tasks can be dangerous if we’re not careful. Let your pride take a blow so that you’ll be more understanding of the pain that everyone else is going through.

A paper cut might be a small thing but it can teach you a very important lesson as long as you’re willing to learn.