PRUNING OF FINGERS UNDER WATER

17/04/2020

If u have ever taken a long bath or spent long time in a pool, you have probably noticed your fingers pruning. The tips of your fingers and sometime the fingers as a whole, develop wrinkles and creases that resemble those on a prune.

WHY DOES FINGER PRUNE UNDER WATER???

People often assume that wrinkling or pruning is the result of absorption or it is a result of water passing into the outer layer of skin and making it swell up. Researchers confirmed that it is an evolutionary change caused by the brain to enhance the grip of fingers underwater or on submerged objects, working to channel away the water like the rain treads in car tires.

Fingers and toes wrinkle in water after about 5 minutes. This occurs when the nervous system sends a message to the blood vessels to become narrower. The constriction of blood vessels reduce the Volume of fingertips slightly, this reduction in volume pulls the skin inward, but as the skin's surface area cannot change, it wrinkles. This mechanism is controlled by autonomic nervous system. When nerves to the fingertips are severed , fingers no longer wrinkle under water.

Pruning by itself is generally harmless and goes away on its own. If pruning occurs without being submerged in water , it could be a sign of medical problem like dehydration, diabetes, lymphedema or due to Vitamin B-12 deficiency

AMULYA N.S

BIOLOGY LECTURER

SVG'S VISHWAPRAJNA RESIDENTIAL PU COLLEGE, MYSORE