rub salt in the wound
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Derived from the stinging sensation of salt deliberately being rubbed into an open, bleeding wound; as a use for torture.
- (idiomatic) To make an injury, physical or emotional, feel worse.
- For rub, one can substitute verbs such as add, pour, put, possibly requiring a change in the preposition in.
- See salt in the wound for variations in that portion of the expression.
to make an injury feel worse