Santa Maria, Calif. - Keep sending me your questions...I appreciate it. I'll do me best to use my sources to get you an answer. Today's question comes from Danielle from her 12 year old daughter. Dear Jon, "Why do only your toes and hands wrinkle when you've been in the water for a while and not the rest of your body?"
There are various theories of why only fingers and toes wrinkle in water. But my source at the Library of Congress says most biologists suggest that the tough outer layer of skin made up of dead keratin cells is responsible.
Your skin is made up of three layers, the wrinkling occurs in the outer most layer of the top most layer of skin called the epidermis. It's the part of skin that we can see and feel and has the dead keratin cells.
While a person is in the pool or a bathtub for a long time, the dead keratin cells absorb water causing our skin wrinkle.
So why does this happen to hands and feet and not to other parts of the body? Because the hands and feet have the thickest layer of dead keratin cells.
Scientists continue to look for the exact mechanisms of why our fingers and toes wrinkle when immersed in water. One theory gaining recognition is the role of narrowing of blood vessels, which ultimately pulls the skin structures downward to produce wrinkling.
If you'd like to send me a question, click on the Dear Jon tab on the home page or click on the email link here. Connect with me on Facebook too. I have a News Personality Page: Jon K Brent. And Twitter @DearJonKBrent. Join us on air at 5/6pm on KION/KCOY Tuesdays and Thursdays and online and social media. Thank you.
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