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Why is skin wrinkly when you're in the pool a long time?

By September 12, 2014 - 4:50pm
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Whenever I spend a long time in the pool or a bath, my skin is all wrinkled like a raisin. Why is that?

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Thanks, Erin, for a great question!

There are various theories of why our fingers - and our toes -  wrinkle in water. According to the Library of Congress, most biologists think keratin cells are responsible. Keratin is a protein found in hair, nails and the outermost layer of our skin.

The outer layer of our skin includes dead keratin cells which absorb water when someone is in the pool or a bathtub for a long time. That absorption causes the surface area of the skin to swell. Since the outer layer of the skin is tightly attached to the body it compensates for the increased surface area by wrinkling. This happens to the hands and feet because they have the thickest layers of dead keratin cells.

Aren't you glad those wrinkles go away and aren't permanent? Hope this solves the mystery for you.



September 12, 2014 - 6:12pm
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