Question

Healthy Skin

Why do hands and feet wrinkle in water?

A Answers (1)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered

    The cause of your "pruney" hands and feet is not completely determined. One theory is that dead keratin cells in your skin suck in water as they soak, causing them to swell, thereby temporarily increasing the surface area of your skin. The problem is that the now-expanded outer skin is not the same size as the deeper layer of living skin cells they are attached to, and your skin tries to compensate for this difference by wrinkling. Another theory contends that your nerve fibers are involved with the wrinkling, but more research to support this concept is still underway.

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