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Why is a paper cut feel more painful then a skinned knee?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology

In brief: Good question!

Meaning, nobody knows for sure.
Some theories: (1) paper contains formalin, which is an irritant; (2) paper isn't as sharp as, say, a razor, so it rips and tears the skin, causing more damage than sharper instruments. Also, most paper cuts are on fingers, which have many nerve endings. There may also be a psychological component; we don't expect something as innocuous as paper to injure us.

In brief: Good question!

Meaning, nobody knows for sure.
Some theories: (1) paper contains formalin, which is an irritant; (2) paper isn't as sharp as, say, a razor, so it rips and tears the skin, causing more damage than sharper instruments. Also, most paper cuts are on fingers, which have many nerve endings. There may also be a psychological component; we don't expect something as innocuous as paper to injure us.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
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