www.whyville.net Feb 12, 2012 Weekly Issue

Senior Times Writer

Scientific Discoveries: Wrinkly Hands

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We've all swam before and for the minority of us that haven't, you must have taken a shower or bath at some point in your life (at least I hope so). And when you have done these things, I am guessing your hands or fingers got wrinkly. Yes, we have all had that happen to us at one point in our lives. I am here to tell you all why we get that wrinkly skin after a long time spent in water. Let us swim into the depths of scientific revelations . . .

What happens?

Similar to a sponge, our skin absorbs water when its oils are washed away. In this case, the water washes away all of the oils thus leaving the skin free of any oils. It rapidly commences to absorb water.

How it happens?

One easy, simple way to describe it is that the water washes away all of the oils on your skin. Our skin is made up of primarily two layers. The outermost layer (it is called epidermis) regularly tends to produce an oily substance which goes by the name of sebum. Detectives dust off crime scenes with special powders because then, the oil remains from the fingerprints appear and they can figure out possible suspects. One of sebum's jobs is to keep water out of your skin. Evidently, it manages to perform this job circumstantially well until met with the inevitable problem of prolonged baths or swims. After long periods in water, the sebum is washed away and the skin starts to involuntarily absorb the water. Now, as it starts to absorb water the skin starts to swell up. Since the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and the inner layer of skin (dermis) are connected at different points, the skin that's expanding due to the water intake begins to wrinkle. Try touching your wrinkly finger and notice how the skin that's wrinkly outwards is bloated and really cushiony. That, in fact is the absorbed water.

What happens after?

After a prolonged period spent in water, the water that absorbed into your skin evaporates and your body starts to produce more of that oil called sebum. The skin returns to its normal expansion and it becomes a cycle.

Et, fini mes amis! And that was the effects water has on our skin! Public Service Announcement: Drink lots of water! I don't know . . . I didn?t know how to finish this article.

Curiosity is NOT what killed the cat,

Author's Note: Sources: http://www.discoverymagazine.com/digger/d01dd/d0110dd.html


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