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Acoustic surface feels better than scratching

acoustic transducers produce customized vibrations that make an itch feel scratched, yet without harming tissue
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(+7, -1)
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When itchy people scratch, sometimes they just make an area that is redder and itchier. I think it is possible to make a vibrating acoustic thing that satisfies an itch with just sound waves, which would reduce irritation to the tissue, causing the tissue to be absent harm as well as heal without further harm.
beanangel, Nov 09 2016

https://www.theguar...nderstands-the-body [hippo, Nov 10 2016]

[link]






       //I think it is possible to make a vibrating acoustic thing that satisfies an itch with just sound waves//   

       Its called a David Attenborough.
bigsleep, Nov 09 2016
  

       In my experience, it seems to mostly be the action of finger-nails on skin that causes the damage. When I have an itch (depending on location...), I find a slap works better than a scratch; satisfies the "input" requirement of the itch, without the surface damage.
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 10 2016
  

       There are two other options. One is to use the fingernail backward. Remember that a human fingernail is equivalent to the sharp claw of some other animal. Normal scratching is a clawing action. But even a sharp claw doesn't cut into flesh when moving the "wrong" way. For scratching an itch, the wrong way is the best way.   

       The other option is to simply rub the itchy spot. Apply as much pressure as you like.
Vernon, Nov 10 2016
  

       Maybe I itch differently from most people, but when I itch only a counter-irritant on the level of scratching makes it go way. Pressure, vibration, and rubbing do not.
Voice, Nov 10 2016
  

       If you have an insect bite (e.g. a mosquito bite) which is very itchy, scratching near or around it usually satisfies the itch.
hippo, Nov 10 2016
  

       We have a little zapper thing that has two small electrodes which you make contact at the point of an insect bite, and press the button causing a piezo 'crack' and a mild shock on your skin. It works very well - removes the urge to scratch.
Ian Tindale, Nov 10 2016
  

       //removes the urge to scratch// - being shocked unconscious tends to do that
hippo, Nov 10 2016
  

       I haven't personally experienced this yet, but I understand that some research has demonstrated that standing in front of a mirror (or was it along the axis?) and scratching the opposite side of an asymmetric itch produces the sensation of relief. All the same, + for acoustic stimulation.
absterge, Nov 10 2016
  

       Perhaps another approach would be to use the 'rubber hand illusion' (see link) to make people think that a rubber hand was their (itchy) hand. Then, scratching the rubber hand may satisfy the need to have the itch scratched.
hippo, Nov 10 2016
  

       That assumes it was a hand. If it were some other part of the body, you'd have to search high and low to find other rubber body parts, no doubt.
Ian Tindale, Nov 10 2016
  

       [iain] the piezo thing is amazing.
beanangel, Nov 10 2016
  

       I think this would work. Especially for the type of itch that is nerve dysfunction - akin to neuropathic pain. Counterstimuli work including topical irritant, head, cold.   

       Vibrating thing is available. Maybe don't shop for them from work.
bungston, Nov 10 2016
  

       //I understand that some research has demonstrated that standing in front of a mirror (or was it along the axis?) and scratching the opposite side of an asymmetric itch produces the sensation of relief.//   

       I tried it. It didn't work
Voice, Nov 11 2016
  

       Because it's in a mirror it produces the opposite of the sensation of relief
hippo, Nov 11 2016
  
      
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