Difference Between Scratch and Itch

Scratch and Itch both are different things but perform the same task that is to injure your skin. Scratch in general words is a cut that gets on the skin and Itching is a feeling which is caused due to any infection or rubbing of the skin.


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Scratch vs Itch

The difference between Scratch and Itch is that Scratch is caused by getting stuck by any sharp thing and Itch is caused by any type of allergy or reaction on the body. If you get a scratch apply any ointment and if you feel itching just wash that part with water thoroughly. These should be done primarily.

Scratch vs Itch

A Scratch is a superficial wound that does not penetrate inside the skin. In scratch, only the upper most layer of our skin is affected.

It is caused due to skin dryness, skin rubbed by any sharp surface. To get scratch heals faster one can use home remedies like turmeric, aloe vera, or coconut oil.

Itching is a stressful sensation that makes you need to scratch the skin. Often, you experience an itch in a single place of your body, but sometimes it is all over the body. It is commonly caused by an insect bite or any type of allergy.

You can stop it by releasing the tension, and avoiding scratching.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonScratchItch
How does it happen?Scratch is slight injuries caused by sharp things like a fingernail, pencil nibItching happens when the skin lacks moisture and becomes dry and tight
CausesSkin conditions, burns, scars, sleepwalkingDry skin, bug bite, a warning sign for any disease, allergy, nerve problem
TreatmentWash or clean the scratched surface to avoid infection, apply antibiotic Take a lukewarm bath with medicated soap, apply effective moisturizer twice or thrice
ExamplesCut by iron rod or any sharp object, animal pawsWearing sweaters, sweat, and fungal infections
Side effectsFever, headacheChickenpox, thyroid

What is Scratch?

Scratches are not always caused by someone or something. You can cause scratches while sleeping through your nails and these are most likely on your face, chest, shoulders.

Another reason is dermatographia. In this, the skin experiences too many scratches in a very short time interval and the scratches become red.

Scratch may also arise because of harm with abrasive surfaces which include sandpaper, concrete, and unpolished or unfinished timber objects. Most of the scratches are minor accidents that may heal without inflicting any scarring.

This condition is seen in 2 to 5 percent of people. Scratches can affect anyone but some people are, however, at greater risk from scratches.

They include- people with occupations that involve working with concrete, thorny plants, children, people involved in sports activities such as basketball, football, and soccer, or people with pets.

If your scratch is resulting in a long time to heal, it is bleeding or itching you must contact a doctor. Scratch wounds often resolve on their own.

If you get a scratch wound you should rinse it with soap and water or cover it with a bandage or clean cloth. Now the question arises if scratches are injurious or not? Complications depend only on what induced the scratch. 

What is Itch?

Itching is a symptom that we’ve all experienced. Itching, on the other hand, might be difficult to convey to others. Itching or itch is a sensation that causes us to annoy ourselves by scratching repeatedly on the same area, resulting in redness.

It feels as if something is crawling on the skin. Itching can be caused either by internal illness or any skin problem. Itching can occur in any part of the body like hands, legs, hair, back.

In hairs, it is generally due to dandruff or a weak scalp. The itchy skin is called pruritus. Causes of itching include different types of allergies, for example, food allergy, soaps, insect bites and stings, internal diseases like anemia, diabetes.

It may also be the result of pollution at the pores and skins, medications, and liver disease. 

If these symptoms aren’t improving after a while, see your doctor for a prescription. Maintain basic cleanliness, avoid wearing uncomfortable clothing, and drink enough water and juices are some of the remedies you may use.

The issues you will confront while itching is that the irritated pores and skin is intense and lasts for more than six weeks, which will have an impact on your life. It would most likely disrupt your sleep and cause anxiety or despair.

Main Differences Between Scratch and Itch

  1. Scratch causes pain whereas itch results in irritation.
  2. Scratch recovers faster if taken proper treatment on time but itch takes a long time for a full recovery. 
  3. After 2 weeks few infections and diseases occur due to scratches like fever, headache, swollen whereas itching can lead to chickenpox, thyroid problems, nerve disorders
  4. During scratching, we send low-level pain signals to the brain which temporarily distracts the brain while at the time of itching there is a complex interaction between the skin cells and our nervous system.
  5. Scratches are generated when the C-fibers convey signals alongside the nerve to the spinal twine and directly to the brain, in which they are processed and we feel scratches. In the case of itching, the chemicals released within the pores and skin send a message to the backbone through nerves, then the backbone communicates with the brain, we feel itchy.
Difference Between Scratch and Itch


  1. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jn.00207.2009
  2. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jn.1994.72.6.3004
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