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Contents:
  1. When to Go to the Urgency Room for Your Finger Cut:
  2. You Cut Your Finger, Now What?
  3. Before you continue...
  4. Why the Little Dutch Boy Never Put his Finger in the Dike
  5. Quote by Louis L'Amour: “You stick your finger in the water and you pull”

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When to Go to the Urgency Room for Your Finger Cut:

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They create channels that allow water to drain away as we press our fingertips on to wet surfaces. This allows the fingers to make greater contact with a wet surface, giving them a better grip.

You Cut Your Finger, Now What?

Scientists have known since the mids that water wrinkles do not form if the nerves in a finger are severed, implying that they are controlled by the nervous system. In a study published online in the journal Brain, Behavior and Evolution , Changizi and his team studied photos of 28 wrinkled fingers 1. The team saw that all of them had the same pattern — long, unconnected channels branching from a point at the top of the finger.

When we press down with a finger, we apply pressure from the tip backwards. The sides of the finger are like cliffs where water can easily fall away, but the flat part is more like a plateau where water can pool. Wrinkles form on the plateau because "that's where all the work has to be done to channel the water away", Changizi explains.

Not everyone is gripped by the new theory. Chen thinks that the wrinkles have a simpler cause: when fingers are immersed in hot water, the blood vessels tighten and the tissue shrinks relative to the overlying skin.

Before you continue...

This contraction causes the skin to buckle. But neurosurgeon Ching-Hua Hsieh of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, says that the process Chen describes does not account for the fact that fingers wrinkle even in cold water, or that they do not wrinkle when their blood supply is cut off. He thinks people should be looking for more explanations of water wrinkling.

Hsieh and Changizi both note that water wrinkles appear only on the fingers and feet, and that the most prominent wrinkles develop at the ends of digits, which are the first parts to touch a surface. Changizi now wants to see if mammals that live in wet habitats are more likely to develop wrinkled fingers. So it's at least us and macaques, and surely many others. The ultimate test of the hypothesis will be to see if people with wrinkled fingers are better at gripping in wet conditions.

Changizi, M. Prints and Photographs Catalog, Library of Congress. Scale model of a bathtub made for Presindent Taft, who was nearly six feet tall and weighed pounds.


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Cartoon originally from the National Weather Service. NOAA, Website. Robbins, C.

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Why the Little Dutch Boy Never Put his Finger in the Dike

Skin in the Encyclopedia of human biology. Edited by Renato Dulbecco. San Diego, Academic Press, c. Why do fingers and toes wrinkle in the bathtub? The outermost layer of the skin swells when it absorbs water. It is tightly attached to the skin underneath, so it compensates for the increased area by wrinkling. However, new research is investigating the role of digital vasoconstriction narrowing of blood vessels of water immersion wrinkling of the skin.

Our skin is made up of three layers: The subcutaneous tissue is the deepest layer. It contains fats and connective tissue along with large blood vessels and nerves. The dermis is the middle layer. It contains the blood vessels, nerves, hair roots, and sweat glands. The epidermis is the topmost layer. It helps to prevent evaporation of water from the body and to protect the internal layers from harm. The epidermis is made up of four layers: the stratum corneum granular layer squamous cell layer and basal cell layer The stratum corneum is the outer layer of our skin - the part that we can see and feel.

Quote by Louis L'Amour: “You stick your finger in the water and you pull”

Related Web Sites. About the Skin - This Web site, from the British Association of Dermatology, provides all types of information about the skin, such as the importance of skin and its role as a barrier, as well as information about skin cancer and other diseases. Anatomy of the Skin - This Dermatology Health Guide, from The University of Maryland Medicine, contains interesting skin facts and information on skin diseases and conditions.

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