Why Do We Get Pruney Fingers In Water?

Ever noticed the way your fingers wrinkle when they’re in water? Scientists have discovered there might actually be a purpose for it!

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Why Do Our Fingers and Toes Wrinkle During a Bath?
“Scientists think that they have the answer to why the skin on human fingers and toes shrivels up like an old prune when we soak in the bath. Laboratory tests confirmed a theory that wrinkly fingers improve our grip on wet or submerged objects, working to channel away the water like the rain treads in car tires.”

Water immersion wrinkling–physiology and use as an indicator of sympathetic function.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15095056
“Water immersion skin wrinkling is an indicator of limb sympathetic function. Routine clinical usage of this enigmatic phenomenon is hampered by poor endpoint quantification, which involves counting skin folds. The recent discovery of the importance of vasoconstriction in immersion wrinkling suggests digital blood flow or volume changes as better endpoints.”

Science gets a grip on wrinkly fingers
http://www.nature.com/news/science-gets-a-grip-on-wrinkly-fingers-1.12175
“People often assume that wrinkling is the result of water passing into the outer layer of the skin and making it swell up. But researchers have known since the 1930s that the effect does not occur when there is nerve damage in the fingers.”
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