Why do Paper cuts Hurt So Much?!

If I asked you to name the things you hated in this world, I’m quite sure that that list would stretch to the high heavens. Mine would obviously start with all my paperless concerns, then

I could give you hundreds of reasons to go paperless, I really could; deforestation, the ozone layer’s depletion, extinction of many species, land pollution, evaporation of our great lakes and bodies of water, water pollution, global warming and shifting global temperatures- oh my I could go on! My list would stretch to the high heavens, but there is one simple reason, that I think is quite, how you say… the underestimated culprit. A reason, that in all my time advocating for the paperless way of life, I have failed to point out.

I’m sure you’re familiar with it; a common thorn in our side that I’m sure that almost everyone has experienced at least once- twice if you’re very unlucky; Paper cuts.

Yes. You know the one- that hurts like no ones business. From that tiny sliver of white comes a world of great pain and immense hurt. I’ve always wondered, why do they hurt so much? They’re so tiny, the wound barely gets to the dermis layer of skin so what on earth could it be that causes so much pain, and I mean SO much pain.

Well a study done by the Scientific American reveals a few reasons why paper cuts hurt like… paper cuts.


  • The Skin on our hands and fingers are “Packed with Neurons” and that’s where we usually get paper cuts. Some of these neurons called nociceptors detect potential harm. These nociceptors respond to high temperatures, harmful chemicals on skin and any kind of pressure that threatens to break through the skin. They trigger a flood of electrical and chemical signals signals that reach the brain, informing it about injury. As a result of this, our brain then provides the experience of pain, making us aware of the injury… thanks brain.


  • A sharp edge of paper is not as clean cut as it looks. Looking through a microscope at the edges of a paper shows that the paper edges are actually quite jagged, much like a saw. It virtually tears through skin ripping our cells apart. But wait, there’s more! Paper leaves behind chemical coated particles irritating the wound.



  • Since in general paper cuts are very shallow, they don’t bleed or clot very much. This means damaged tissues and neurons remain exposed. Every time we use our hand the wound flexes open distressing these neurons that in turn send the signals to our brain, which then provides us with the experience of pain making use more so aware of the injury… really, thanks brain.



Paper cuts are proof that once again, going paperless is the way forward. Have you ever heard of an e-cut? I don’t think so, and you never will.

Obviously this doesn’t mean you should go burning and shredding every page you have just because I said you should go paperless (you can recycle it). Doesn’t knowing this just want to make you go paperless? Or should I say paper-cut-less?


SignTech is an innovative paperless platform that creates forms and documents for full completion, signing and integration.  For more information visit www.signtechforms.com or email info@signtechforms.com.

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