Lived Through This

My Seven Years of Itching

Sometimes our bodies are best left alone

Photo: Rizky Panuntun / Getty Images

For several years in my twenties, the main thing I did was itch. And scratch.

The “itch cycle,” they call it. Irritants cross the skin barrier, causing the sensitization of immune cells. When you scratch, your nails damage the surface barrier of the skin, allowing more…