Is there a correlation between skin replacement with pain? What does damaged skin associated with pain? How to correlate pain when stung by nettles with one verse in the Quran above? Is skin really matter for the pain?

“… .Whenever their skin is burnt completely, We will replace it so they will ˹constantly˺ taste the punishment…”

(Surah An-Nisa: verse 56)

What Is Nettle?

Have you ever been stung by nettle plants? Nettle or Jelatang (Indonesian) is the common name for a plant that can sting our skin. There are many species, but all of them are still in the same family, Urticaeae. In West Java they have Pulus, while in Sumatra is Kemaduh, in East Java is Jancukan, and in Maluku and Papua, is Daun Gatal.

The sting effects are all similar, even though it comes from different species. Burning sensation, itching, and pain in the skin, up to causing fever. All the species have similar effects, only the duration of the effect varies. From the ones that quickly disappear until they disappear for weeks.

What’s Going On?

Due to the fact oftenly stung and curious, I finally want to learn more. Why the effects of pain occur continuously without stopping?. In fact, there is scientific evidence that can explain this phenomenon. Is pain correlate with the skin anatomy?

Correlation Between Skin And Pain
An Illustration When Nettle Sting The Skin

The correlation comes from the toxic compounds in the fine hairs of nettles (trichomes) with the nerve cells. Its nerve cells named Nociceptors are responsible to send pain signals to the brain. The Nociceptors are only present in the skin tissue, especially in the outer layer of skin called the epidermic layer. The facts that finally brought me to surah An-Nisa verse 56.

It’s Getting Clear Now

The trichomes are small tubes that are sharp and fragile. They contain chemical compounds from the neurotransmitter and acidic groups. There are 3 neurotransmitters that are responsible for causing pain. Namely Histamine, Acetylcholine, and Serotonin. While the acid compounds are formic acid and oxalate acid. The trichomes are present in the leaves, stems, and young shoots of the nettles.

Nociceptors, Sending Pain Signal To The Brain

When we touch the nettle trichomes, these trichomes will very easily pierce the skin, break, and release chemical compounds. Then these chemical compounds will settle in the epidermis layer of the skin. Physiologically, the epidermis layer is the place where the ends of the Nociceptor cells are located. They were abundant and distribute in all of the skin tissue. The function of the nociceptors is to send the pain signal to the brain. Unluckily, Histamine is a neurotransmitter that responsible to transmit pain to nociceptors.

Correlation between skin and pain
An illustration of transmission the pain signal from skin to brain trough spinal cord

The concentration of Histamine is increasing suddenly in the skin. Automatically it directly becomes stock for pain signal till the concentration is back to normal. The Histamine then goes to the nociceptors, and pain transmission started. That is the reason why the pain immediately feels instantaneous and makes a shock like a sting.

How Long And Why Is It Long?

All these nerve cells are continuously sending pain to the brain. It because of the increase of toxic chemicals from the nettle trichomes eventually. The pain will continuously be felt till the toxic compounds run out. It will end in hours, days, weeks, even months. This depends on the quantity and concentration of chemical compounds that enter the skin.

The long-lasting pain comes from the fact that the chemical does not kill cells. The compound only settles in the cell and releases slowly to the end of the nociceptor cell. Until the compound runs out. All cells are still alive and can function normally.

Normal Skin and Pain

This is the reason, peoples can feel the pain continuously. Day by day as long as the chemicals still there in the higher concentration. As long as we have normal skin, we will still feel the pain. This fact matches with the Quran, surah An-Nisa verse 56 above.

After looking for supporting data about the correlation between skin and pain, many recent research reports state the same thing. The fact that only good and healthy skin will feel the pain. When the skin is broken, the nociceptor cells will not function properly.

What Happens When The Skin Burns?

When the entire skin tissue is peeled off or burned, the nociceptor cells are lost. This means that even though there is pain, the pain will not be transmitted to the brain quickly. This is what the Quran Surah An-Nisa verse 56 mentions, regarding the replacement of skin. Because only with good and healthy skin, then the pain will be felt very quickly. The fact that proves, that correlation between skin and pain is scientifically finally proven.

Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses


Dudin Supti · March 13, 2021 at 1:37 pm

great articles and great insight for me.. thank you mas moer

What Happens If You Get Stung By A Nettle? including illustrations · March 21, 2021 at 11:44 am

[…] process takes place continuously all the time. Day and night, days until all these chemical compounds dissolve and disappear from […]

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