Turns out your mom was right: scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research from scientists at the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reveals that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation.
New research at the School of Medicine shows that chronic itching, which can occur in many medical conditions, is different from the urge to scratch a mosquito bite. Chronic itching appears to incorporate more than just the nerve cells that normally transmit itch signals. In the image shown, researchers identified elevated signaling (in red) in nerve cells involved in both itch and in pain.