Why do fingers and toes wrinkle when left in water?
● Even though you can’t see it, your skin is covered with its special oil called
● Sebum is found on the outermost layer of skin. Sebum 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 as 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. Since they are anchored to the tissues below, they are forced to
corrugate to accommodate this.
● But it can’t expand evenly in all directions because it is attached to the layer
underneath. As it swells outward in some places, it pinches inward in other
places. That makes wrinkles. But don’t worry. Your skin will smooth out again as
● You may wonder why other parts of your body don’t wrinkle up as much as the
fingers and palms. The layer of skin that swells and wrinkles are thicker on the
palms of your hands and the bottoms of your feet than it is on most other body
parts. That’s why the skin on your palm wrinkles more than the skin on the back
of your hand.