Why does the skin wrinkle from being in water for a long time

(ORDO NEWS) — We have all noticed this strange effect after bathing or swimming in water. Why does this happen and why does our body need such a function?

Has it always seemed strange to you, too, that after a bath or swimming in a lake, your fingers become wrinkled? But this is by no means a useless mechanism – without it, our ancestors would not have survived!

To answer this question, let’s first understand how our skin works. As you know, this fabric has several layers. Three of the most important of these are:

Epidermis: This is the outermost layer of the skin and has a protective function. It also prevents the evaporation of water from the body.

Dermis: This is the middle layer of the skin that contains blood vessels, nerve endings, hair roots and sweat glands.

The hypodermis is the inner layer of the skin, made up of fats and connective tissue.

The topmost layer – the epidermis – also consists of 5 sublayers:

Stratum corneum

Spiny layer

Granular layer

Glitter layer

Basal layer

The stratum corneum is the topmost layer of the epidermis and contains the oldest cells. The younger the cell, the lower it is in the skin.

For a long time, people thought that wrinkles after taking a bath appear on the skin due to the fact that the top layer of the epidermis swells due to water.

This was explained by the fact that the skin is covered with sebum, which protects and moisturizes it. This protective layer also repels water.

Thanks to this, water simply flows down our body and does not get on the skin. But if the body is in water for a long time, the water washes away the sebum, and the water actually passes through it.

Why does skin actually get wrinkled?

But later, scientists discovered a link between the appearance of wrinkles on the skin and the work of blood vessels. It turned out that wrinkles were part of an involuntary (automatic) reaction of the nervous system.

When you are in water, your nervous system sends a signal to your blood vessels and they contract. Narrowed blood vessels slightly reduce the volume of the fingertips, forming loose skin folds, which we see after bathing or swimming.

It may seem that wrinkles are completely useless, but studies show that this is not the case. So, according to one explanation, the wrinkles on the hands and feet of people helped them survive.

The folds on the fingers allow you to grip wet objects faster and better. And wrinkles on the legs create better friction when walking in the rain. It was easier for our ancestors to get food from water or from wet plants.


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