The Peculiar Pain of Paper Cuts

Posted on February 15, 2008 

The Peculiar Pain of Paper Cuts

They always strike when least expected — opening the mail, rummaging through notes, and in an instant, it’s “ouch!” and you’re sucking air in through your teeth.

Oh, the paper cut. Since the dawn of office work, it has been the one thing that can make even the most composed business person spew profanities. Somehow, that little cut stings more than any other nick — and it keeps hurting, too.

But why? Theories of office lore circulate the Internet — from the microscopic structure of paper, to the chemicals used in paper plants, to bacteria living on our faxes. While dermatologists know which theories are wrong, the most annoying pain in the office still remains a bit of a medical mystery.


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