Why does our skin gets itchy when we make contact with something that’s shaking, like a bus seat or a massage chair?



Why does our skin gets itchy when we make contact with something that’s shaking, like a bus seat or a massage chair?

In: Biology

Our skin becomes itchy from that? I’m not sure, but I think you might have a medical condition.

Not sure this is related but if I don’t see someone coming up behind me and they touch my back I get an itch before they touch me in the exact spot. Now I’m probably not clairvoyant so I’m thinking it may be like deja vu where you remember something before you perceive it and it seems like it’s happened before.

I get the same thing on my hands when I ride a bike sometimes. Always wondered the same thing

I’m not sure why but I definitely know what your talking about. It mostly happens to me when I’m sweaty I’m not sure if it has anything to do with a moving seat

Itching is commonly caused by changes blood flow to the skin which causes nerve stimulation. This can be due to an irritant (bug bite or medication reaction), change in blood pressure (exercise in some people or medications or many other causes), or for some people vibrations which can cause direct stimulation of the nerves.

In some cases people who do not regularly exercise will have tiny blood clots in their capillaries. This isn’t a problem, but when they’re dislodged by vibrations or a change in blood pressure (such as exercise) they can cause itching. These tiny blood clots are largely harmless and will dissolve when they get into larger blood vessels. This will go away with repeated exposure.

Edit: added a bit about the capillary clots.

Some nerves in the body require physical energy to send a signal. To the brain that tells you how things are outside the skull.

The body tells you there is pressure from a hand on your face or wind from the more signals and the centralized or decentralized location of the activations plus things like frequency and amount.

Vibrations can lower the amount of energy required this in the sense to send a signal. The energy resonates through you and wherever the resonance peaks like sturdy bones or dissipates like your shoes it will feel different than the rest. You blockout small amounts of signal like background noise of a fan or the wilderness. The buildup of response louder than the rest will cause itchiness.

Please read further here but that’s as simple I can make it without being too wordy as a child might know even less words than I said but I couldn’t think of good words to substitute.


There are several types of nerves in your skin that detect “touch”. Different types of nerves are specialized for things like sharp objects, texture, motion, vibration, and pain/itch/temperature.

Pacinian corpuscles are the ones that are specialized to sense vibration. Each of these nerve endings have a rather large zone of sensation, so that’s why it’s difficult to localize precisely where on the skin is vibrating. You just generally feel an area of vibration. These pacinian corpuscles are deeper in the skin compared to “free nerve endings”, which detect itch. Thus, activation of the pacinian corpuscles almost always involves activation of free nerve endings as well.

Your brain is able to process the incoming inputs (via the thalamus, cortex, and other midbrain areas) and determine that it is not painful. Therefore, the input from the free nerve endings is interpreted as itch or slight discomfort.

Came across this posts as I was shaking my leg that happened to be rubbing up against a barstool leg and immediately started feeling the itch

So is the consensus the only cure is to exercise a lot or never?

Somewhat anecdotally, it’s been discovered that different frequencies can cause different phantom sensations in your skin. This is most frequently noted by people as the “phantom phone vibration”. That feeling that your phone is vibrating when it actually wasn’t.

The paper I remember reading about this years ago studied a lot of different frequencies and managed to isolate that rubbing something hard like a fingernail or coin across corduroy clothing can fairly consistently create the right frequency for the phone-vibration example. There might have been a bit about needing to be unaware it was about to happen though, I can’t remember that part.