Itch can be contagious, is it true?

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For some people, hearing stories about a mosquito bite can make them itch even though their skin is fine. Even some doctors admitted that they often feel itchy while watching their patient scratch their body.

As reported by NBC News, it seems that itching can also be contagious like yawning and laughing, according to researchers from the University of Hull in England.

“The only reason why there are people who fells itchy after seeing other people scratching is because itch is contagious,” said Henning Holle, one of the researchers.

Holle then asked 51 adults to watch a video of someone scratching his body. During the video play, two-thirds of the respondents apparently also felt itchy and scratched their body.

Holle then explained that watching someone scratch their body triggers activity in the anterior insular, primary the somatosensory area, the prefrontal cortex and premotor. The area where the itching matrix is active when someone is really itchy. It means seeing others scratching ultimately influence the brain to feel the itch.

Holle suspect itch that is contagious is a form of empathy for others. It is said that someone who are more easily agitated, temperamental, often anxious, depressed, jealous, and feel guilty more easily infected with itching.

The results of this study were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. Do you suddenly feel itchy after reading this article?

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