Amychophobia is an irrational, persistent, and abnormal fear of scratches or being scratched. It is usually associated with avoidance of animals such as dogs and cats because may have experienced being scratched by such animals in the past, or had friends or family members who have been scratched and suffered from adverse reactions after. Others fear that scratches from these animals can transmit infections. Some are scared because of the thought of pain and possible infection that comes with being scratched.
For others who are severely allergic to animal scratches or animal dander, their fear may be justified.
People with Amychophobia usually avoid household pets, avoid zoos and contact with animals especially those with claws. They find animals a threat and interaction or contact with such causes them great distress.
Amychophobia can cause panic attacks manifested by shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea, sweating, intense fear when confronted by animals. Although several drugs are available in the market that could help control the panic, behavior therapy is the most successful approach but for this type of phobia, the process can take months or years. People with this phobia are desensitized to the idea that animals are a threat and over time, most patients are able conquer their fear.