Why do we wrinkle when we stay in the water to long?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Aug 13, 2005.


    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Does anyone know whats causes the skin on your hands to wrinkle when you stay in the water to long?.
  2. yes. someone does.

    that mr wizard character would be a good start.

    bill nye also might know.
  3. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I believe it's because our skin becomes more moist in the water and as a result, expands. When you get out of the water, you basically have 'more skin than body', so it bunches up and get wrinkly until it dries off.
  4. YES!!! AP Biology has finally proved useful.

    It has to do with the concentration of water in your body in relation to the water around you. Since water is at its highest concentration outside your body in the tub/pool w/e, it diffuses(?) through the skin, blah blah blah, making it look puffy, wrinkled, whatever. Essentially, your taking on water through your skin, I think.

    Of course, I slept through most of that class, and it was last year, so I might just be pulling this out of my butt, but I think this is right.

    Why do I have the distinct feeling that someone is going to come along in 5 minutes and prove me wrong and therefore dumb...
  5. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central

    ^ much better explanation.
  6. be cautious when around water. you wouldn't want hyponartemia.....err whatever
  7. Ask Jeeves. :D

    ummmm.......I still don't know.

    I like DMB's answer
  8. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    yeah, concentration gradients and osmotic pressure. :cool:
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  10. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    ...aren't those like...jam bands...er...or somethin'?


  11. Not sure, but here's a related anecdote from last night. A girl was asking me if male shrinkage (when wet) hurts at all. When I told her the answer, she was very surprised and almost didn't believe me, assuming that it is a painful process. :p
  12. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    You guys are thinking too much about the queston and you've missed the most obvious criteria the Major gave us:

    I would think the answer were obvious, your skin is wrinkled because you are 50 years older than when you went in.
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Well, you could have made references to analog parts. ;)
  14. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca


    that also reminds me of a bit from all-that. (i'm showing my lack of age. lol.) "never say to your grandmother, 'did you spend the last ten years in a pool or are you really that old!?!'"

    i thought it was great when i was 10. :meh:

    ah, lori-beth denburg, whatever became of you (besides a cameo in dodgeball)?
  15. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Haha! Oh man, I just had a flashback to a road trip where I was subjected to something like 8 hours of nonstop Ozric Tentacles...
  16. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    "Dear Cecil:

    Can you please tell me why your fingers and toes wrinkle in the bathtub, but the rest of your body doesn't? --Rachel F., Chevy Chase, Maryland

    Cecil replies:

    What my body does or doesn't do in the bathtub is no business of yours, Rachel.

    However, speaking in generalities, I might note that the top layer of the skin is composed of toughened, scaly cells collectively known as the stratum corneum. On most of the body, this layer is quite thin, just .015 of a millimeter, but it's 40 times as thick, or 0.6 of a millimeter, on the soles and palms.

    Normally the stratum corneum is relatively dehydrated, but it absorbs moisture and swells up when soaking. This swelling occurs throughout the soles and palms, but it's most noticeable in the fingers and toes because of their restricted dimensions.

    In extreme cases, e.g., so-called immersion foot syndrome, which sometimes occurs among soldiers whose feet stay wet for prolonged periods, the entire sole can wrinkle up and become painful to walk on.

    The principle is the same in any case. Since the underlying tissue doesn't absorb water, the stratum corneum can't spread out and it buckles like asphalt on the highway in the summer sun.



    By the way,
    www.straightdope.com is a GREAT site to waste hours and hours of your life knowing many useless facts.
  17. jokke_v


    Aug 15, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    I read somewhere that the natural fat that is in your skin gets washed away, and the skind wrinkles because of that.

    That's probably wrong because of the staggering facts that have already been presented in this thread. :ninja:

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Interesting, thank you.