Why Are Papercuts So Painful?

Papercuts are so painful!

Papercuts are so painful!

We have all felt it. You are doing some paperwork and all of a sudden it happens. You cut your finger on a piece of paper. The pain is unbearable! You try to ignore the pain, but it just won’t fade away. Why is that? Why does it hurt so bad to cut yourself on a single piece of paper.

Our fingers are more sensitive to pain. The skin is not as thick as it is near our arms, stomach and legs. This means they are more likely to feel pain. But papercuts are especially painful, and there are three reasons for that..

Number one is the paper is very dull compared to a knife. A knife will leave a pure cut in your finger, slicing the skin cleanly. A piece of paper however is not as sharp as a knife, and therefore leaves an uneven cut with a lot of tissue damage compared to a knife. So the cut will take longer to heal because of the damage to the tissue.

The other reason is the bacteria found on the paper. When the paper cuts through your finger it leaves some of the bacteria behind. 

The body works in a awesome way, it is capable of healing itself. So when the bacteria are left in the wound when the body stitches itself up, the foreign bacteria will stimulate the pain receptors, making the papercut even more painful than it is.

But there is yet another reasons why papercuts are so painful. That is the psychological factor.

When the we cut ourself with paper, we don’t expect it to hurt so badly. However, when we cut ourself with a knife we anticipate the pain, and are more aware of the pain factor. We know it will hurt and we know it will not heal over night. 

A papercut is different.

We don’t expect a pathetic piece of paper to cause us such pain. And they often come unexpectedly, so it’s kind a suprise element when it happens. We are doing something with a low-risk factor like drawing or writing, and our brain don’t see that as a dangerous activity. This might be one additional reason to the pain factor caused by papercuts.

Did you know?  The best way to deal with a papercut is to wash the wound with warm, soapy water. This will help prevent infection from bacterias found on the paper.


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