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One the most annoying things life is an itch that won't go away. Scientists have worked decades to find out why we itch, and to find a cure. Researchers Harvard Medical School in the USA have discovered that skin bacteria make us itch when they interact our nerve cells. Lead researcher Liwen Deng said the bacteria are linked to many diseases that cause itchiness. The most common disease is eczema. Dr Leng wrote: "It's not the nicest bug to have you, for sure. Many patients carry their skin the very microbe we've now shown the first time can induce itch." She added that: "Itches can be quite debilitating patients who suffer chronic skin conditions."

Dr Leng and her colleagues conducted their research mice. They found an enzyme (which they dubbed V8) that was responsible itching in the test mice. The V8 enzyme triggered a protein that made the mice itch. The scientists engineered the protein and developed a drug to stop it making the mice itch. The drug could be used to make anti-itch medication. This could block the itching process humans. This is good news eczema sufferers. Eczema affects 245 million people globally. As well as itchiness, sufferers often get redness their skin and a rash. They may also get small blisters and a thickening the skin. Eczema is twice as common females as it is in males.

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