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Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do My Fingers Wrinkle after a Bath?

Why Do My Fingers Wrinkle after a Bath?

The answer has to do with your skin. Even though you can’t see it, your skin is covered with its own special oil called sebum. Sebum is found on the outermost layer of skin.

Sebum moistens, or lubricates, and protects your skin. It also makes your skin a bit waterproof. That’s why water runs off your skin when you wash your hands, instead of soaking it in like a sponge would.

But staying in water for a long time washes away the sebum. Then, the water can penetrate the outer layer of your skin. This causes your skin to become waterlogged. The tips of your fingers are covered with an extra thick layer of old, dry skin cells too that easily absorb water.

When you sit in the bathtub for a long time, this dry skin soaks up so much water that it swells and develops little folds. Your fingertips become as wrinkled as prunes! Once you dry off, the extra water in your skin evaporates and the wrinkles disappear.

On most other parts of your body, this layer of old skin is very thin. It can absorb only a little water. So the rest of your body does not wrinkle as much.

Content for this question contributed by Trina Maudlin, resident of Adams Township, Allen County, Indiana, USA