Why does your fingers gets wrinkle in water?

Fingers may wrinkle when wet to help people grip wet objects. When a person’s hands and feet are soaked in water, wrinkles eventually develop on the tips of fingers and toes.

While a person is in water for a long time, the dead keratin cells absorb water. This absorption causes the surface area of the skin to swell, but the outer layer is tightly attached to the living tissue. So, to compensate for the increased surface area, our skin wrinkles.

Brief Answer

Your skin is covered with special oils which lubricates and protect your skin. When you take a quick shower, the water temporarily washes away the oils. Once the oil is gone, the water begins to absorb its way into the outer layer of your skin.

The outer layer of skin on your hands and feet called epidermis is different than the skin on the rest of your body. That’s why your toes and fingertips wrinkle quite easily, than arms or a wrinkly tummy.

Most biologists claims that the tough outer layer of skin made up of dead keratin cells is responsible. Keratin is a protein found in hair, nails, and the outermost layer of our skin.

The thicker layer of skin on your hands and feet contains more dead skin cells than other parts of your body. These dead skin cells soak up water like an efficient sponge, while thinner skin on the rest of your body is less affected.

When you have wrinkly bath fingers, your fingertips are actually waterlogged, which means they are completely saturated with water.

As the epidermis begins to swell, it pulls on live skin layers beneath. Unlike the dead surface layer, deeper layers are firmly attached to fibers in your skin and do not swell.

The hands and feet have the thickest layer of dead keratin cells. Our hands and feet are subjected to a lot of wear and tear.

When hands are immersed in water it seems that the nerve fibers are triggered to “shrink”, which then pulls the skin structures downwards to produce wrinkling.


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