Wondering Why?

Why do Hands get pruny?

Why do Hands get pruny?

The hands are two parts in the body that is mostly exposed to all kinds of work such as washing, driving, typing, eating and even changing channels of the television. As the hands get frequently exposed to various elements and compounds, the first part of the body that is affected is the skin. As the largest organ of the body, the skin is composed of several layers that protect the entire body from being susceptible to diseases and illnesses. The skin is also known as the body’s first layer of defense. In the daily activities that every person engages into, it is a common practice that hands are washed. It is even part of the recommended hygiene practices to perform hand washing as part of the daily routine.
One palpable fact that has been observed by many is that the skin of the hands gets wrinkly or pruny after frequent contact with water, especially in instances where one goes out for a swim. The reason why hands get pruny is because of the concept of osmosis. Osmosis is one fundamental process in science that describes the movement of particles from an area of high concentration to low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane. Among human beings, the skin is developed to be flexible, hard wearing and prevents water from escaping. In the case of the hands getting pruny or wrinkled, the semi-permeable membrane is the cell membrane of the skin cells, which contains a certain amount of salt that is greater compared to the salt contained in water. To achieve balance, water passes by osmosis through the membrane of the skin cells and into the cells themselves causing the cells to swell up and cause extra folds in the hands, particularly in skin of the fingers.

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