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The Real Reason Why Paper Cuts Hurt So Damn Much

A fate crueler than death.

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If you've ever accidentally sliced your finger on a piece of paper (or, god forbid, A MANILA ENVELOPE!!!!), you know that paper cuts hurt like a mother.


How does one 1/4-inch-long cut feel like someone sawed off your entire arm??

ABC, Claudiodivizia / Getty Images

Not to mention when you forget about it and use *gasp* hand sanitizer.

First of all, there are more pain receptors in your fingertips than most other places in your body.

So a cut on your finger, where there are more nerve endings, stings more than, say, a cut on your thigh. “Fingertips are how we explore the world, how we do small, delicate tasks,” Dr. Hayley Goldbach told the BBC, “so it makes sense that we have a lot of nerve endings there. It’s kind of a safety mechanism.”

Second, a sheet of paper's edge is actually serrated like a saw blade, so those tiny ridges slice and dice your skin up more than they would if the edge were smooth, like a knife.



And third, paper cuts are too shallow to generate that much blood, meaning your body doesn't immediately rush in to clot and heal the wound.

Be careful out there, kids.


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