Why does alcohol make cuts sting?

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Offline thedoc

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Why does alcohol make cuts sting?
« on: 01/04/2012 10:12:01 »
Steven Wasmer  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Chris,

Good morning and great show! I was just using some disinfectant gel on my hands and discovered I had a small cut on my hand. Obviously the alcohol immediately burned in the wound. I was wondering what is it about alcohol which causes this burning sensation?

Thanks for a great show.

Steven W  
PA USA    

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/04/2012 10:12:01 by _system »

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Offline cheryl j

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Re: Why does alcohol make cuts sting?
« Reply #1 on: 17/04/2012 04:24:49 »
My guess is that alcohol either directly stimulates pain receptors in exposed tissue, or it further damages cells that release inflammatory chemicals that stimulate pain receptors.