Thursday, February 24, 2005

On the Job Injury: Why Do Paper Cuts Hurt So Much?

From several websites (inspired by one bitch of a paper cut on my left pinky):

  1. Any shallow cut, whether made by paper or a sharp plastic edge, hurts more than a deep cut because the shallow one remains open. The body quickly seals a deeper cut with a blood clot. An open wound, no matter how small, hurts.
  2. Due to all the stuff in paper, some of it is left behind in the wound. The foreign matter (paper is made of wood mulch and a variety of chemicals) stimulates pain receptors in your finger, causing the stinging sensation and causing the cut to heal slowly.
  3. There may also be a psychological component. We don't expect paper to hurt us, and we get angry and upset when it does. Paper cuts come unexpectedly, when we are engaged in what we think is a low-risk activity, and we can get impatient with them when they heal slowly.
  4. (Added by Lorna) The paper wants to hurt us.

I think #4 makes the most sense.


Zina said...

You have WAAAAAAAAAY too much time on your hands. Get a hobby!


Donna said...

Thank you for explaining that to me.

Abby Taylor said...

Don't forget, we also must unconsciously WANT the paper to hurt us, else we wouldn't keep it around.

Laurie said...

Zina, it's not the time on my hands, it the damn paper cuts!

LoneStarLass said...

Hey, Laurie, JTWonderGirl's mom here. I think the reason it hurts when we get a papercut is because the paper is made by irate papermakers. Trust me, I know about these things.

P.S. I have heard rumors of what goes into paper, but I want you to be able to sleep at night, so I will forbear mentioning anything at this time.

Laurie said...

Thanks for the confirmation, LoneStarLass. Even the paper makers are out to get us. From the looks of my office, they're winning.