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The environment outside of the cells in your fingers (the bathwater) has a high water potential, and low solute concentration. In contrast, the environment inside the cells in your fingers has a lower water potential and a higher solute concentration.

Osmosis- the net movement of water molecules from a region of high water-potential to low water-potential down a water potential gradient leads to your skin cells swelling up with water absorbed from the surroundings.

Swollen cells take on a more rounded, less rectangular shape, so the outside surface of your skin becomes wrinkled rather than flat.

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14y ago
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11y ago

"Researchers previously thought that the wrinkling of the fingers was due to osmosis, where water entered the upper layer of skin, causing it to swell and create all these ridges. In actuality, this is an active process controlled by the autonomic nervous system, where the narrowing of blood vessels reduces the amount of volume in your fingertips. Knowing it's an active process must mean it serves a purpose."

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12y ago

Some wrinkles are there for a purpose. Without wrinkles our skin would be tight. It would be difficult to bend them with tight skin. Wrinkles are excess skin that allows the finger to move without pulling the skin to tight. Watch the extra skin in the wrinkle flatten out. That's "room to move". Skin on your fingers will wrinkle when it gets too wet.

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12y ago

Your skin has a special oil known as sebum which lubrictaes & protects the skin (it also makes it a little waterproof). However when you spend long amounts of time in the water the sebum is washed away.

When this happens, the water can make its way to your upper layer of skin. the water does this by "osmosis", which basically means that the water moves from one thing into another, a place where there is a lot of water such as the pool, to a place with less water (that being your skin)

PS: even though your skin looks like its all shriveled up, its actually waterlogged. being that the extra water in your skin causes your skin to swell up in some places, that's what causes the wrinkles.

This answer isn't quite right water doesn't move from where there is lots of water to where there is less water. it moves from a region of high water potential to a region of low water potential, water potential is calculated from the ratio of H2O molecules to solute molecules such as sodium chloride. For example distilled water has the highest water potential as there is nothing dissolved in it so in distilled water things well up due to osmosis.

to conclude if osmosis is the cause of wrinkly fingers in a pool water would be leaving your fingers as there is a higher water potential in your fingers then the pool.

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Believe it or not, scientists have debated this question of wrinkly toes and fingers for quite some time, but I can say with some confidence that I have the answer for you. Most of the skin we see on our bodies is actually dead skin! Our fingers and toes have especially thick layers of this dead skin (also called keratin.) When we get in the bath tub or pool, those dead skin cells absorb water. Just like a dry sponge absorbing water, the skin grows slightly in size and it begins to wrinkle. The longer you stay in the water, the more wrinkled your toes and fingers get! By the way, warm water usually wrinkles skin faster than cold water.

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12y ago

The skin will wrinkle because your skin is made up of two layers. The outer layer is called the epidermis and the lower level is the dermis. The outer layer (epidermis) produces an oily substance called sebum. You can see this substance when you touch a window or mirror and your "oily" fingerprint is left there. One job sebum does is it keeps water out of your skin-a job that it does very well. However, after long periods of time in a swimming pool, shower, or bathtub, much of the sebum is washed off and your outer layer of skin starts to absorb water. As it absorbs water it swells, but since the epidermis is "tied" down to your dermis in certain spots, it expands more where it is not "tied" down and this causes your skin to wrinkle. The difference between your skin and a raisin is that raisins wrinkle because they shrink, but your skin wrinkles because it is getting bigger. Once you get out of the pool or tub, the water that your skin absorbed will evaporate, your skin will return to its usual size, and you body will produce more sebum. Your fingers and toes will be back to normal in no time.

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14y ago

It is because your skin is covered with a natural oil called "sebum" when you are in he bathtub,pool,or washing dishes the sebum washes away and lets the water enter. That way your skin then becomes waterlogged. that causes it to swell. it only happens on your hands and feet because those are the only tow areas of your body with the least amount of sebum.

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14y ago

because when we take a bath, the moisture of our skin strips off as dirts do that's why different lotion products use to acknowledge this things....<from nica_06@Yahoo.com>

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10y ago

our body is made up of billions of tiny things called cells. when the cells touch water, they expand but the fingernall stops it from stretching and folds the skin

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11y ago

your skin gets wrinkles when you take a bath because there is a kind of oil on your skin that makes it smooth and when you get in the water that oil rubs off and your skin gets wrinkled.

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Q: Why does skin go wrinkle in bath?
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