SCHAUMBURG, IL – Going against traditional wisdom, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has updated its guidelines on itching and now officially endorses everyone scratching the hell out of that itch. Seriously. Go to town on that damn thing. Use whatever you can get your hands on if need be.
“This recommendation isn’t based on the evidence, it’s based on what the people want and the people want to scratch that f**king itch,” explained AAD President Dr. Henry Lim, as he rolls up his right arm sleeve and intensely scratches his forearm to the point it starts bleeding. “Quick, hand me that fork!” We handed him the fork. He began scraping the prongs against his skin. “OH.. MY… GOD… that feels sooooooo goooooood!!!!”
The AAD now recommends the use of long, jagged fingernails as first-line treatment of itchiness, no matter what the cause. Second-line treatments include forks, metal wool, sandpaper, serrated knives, tree branches, and shards of glass. For a back itch, the AAD believes it is “reasonable” to rub up against the bark of a tree.
In the past, health care professionals including dermatologists recommended against scratching an itch because there was science behind why it was bad: scratching causes pain, pain is transmitted to the brain, and serotonin is released, which not only controls the pain but intensifies the itch. However, as great as the explanation was, dermatologists could no longer restrain their deep-down desire to take a rake and deal with that incessant itchiness.
Chicago dermatologist, Ellen Reynolds, happily embraced the new recommendation, as evidenced by her full-body excoriations. “I look hideous, yes, but gosh, I feel so good, even if it’s temporary,” Reynolds smiled, the undersides of her fingernails caked with dried blood and denuded skin. “Gold Bond and corticosteroid dreams are great and all, but nothing provides as much pleasure as dermatologic self-mutilation.”
Additionally, the AAD plans to rescind its advice to take an oatmeal bath to help with itchiness, now emphasizing that oatmeal should be strictly reserved for breakfast.