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Old April 1 2012, 03:29 PM   #1
Ro_Laren
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What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

I googled the title of this thread, "What happens to your skin if you stay in the water for weeks?" and I found the following reply on the internet:

actually what happens to you is your skin gets so pruned and wrinkly that your blood has clots and gets tightened and thick so you die of starvation and blood conflicts.
My reaction to reading this was ... Is that true or was the person that posted this just making it up?? I'm guessing the latter, but what do I know??
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Old April 1 2012, 03:30 PM   #2
Roger Wilco
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

I think the skin just peels off. And you don't even need weeks for that, just days.
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Old April 1 2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

Ro_Laren wrote: View Post
I googled the title of this thread, "What happens to your skin if you stay in the water for weeks?" and I found the following reply on the internet:

actually what happens to you is your skin gets so pruned and wrinkly that your blood has clots and gets tightened and thick so you die of starvation and blood conflicts.
My reaction to reading this was ... Is that true or was the person that posted this just making it up?? I'm guessing the latter, but what do I know??
The osmotic potential of the skin is delicate and the constant pressure and presence of water could burst cells, tighten tissues, yeah it could possibly happen. We're not aquatic creatures, being in an unnatural (to our skin) environment has it's problems.
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Old April 1 2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

Here's a time-lapse image of what happens when you stay in the water for weeks on end:

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Old April 1 2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

Well, I won't be taking anymore two week long baths now...
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Old April 1 2012, 09:34 PM   #6
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

I'm trying to figure out why this would ever be an issue.
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Old April 1 2012, 09:38 PM   #7
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

Maybe lost at sea? I don't know.
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Old April 1 2012, 09:39 PM   #8
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Maybe lost at sea? I don't know.
If you're lost at sea for weeks and you haven't starved to death or died of dehydration, chances are you have some kind of vessel that would be capable of keeping your body out of the water.
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Old April 1 2012, 09:50 PM   #9
Locutus of Bored
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I'm trying to figure out why this would ever be an issue.
Do you have any idea how many Aquamans died before they finally developed a decent underwater skin protectant?

The sea is littered with skeletons in orange body shirts and green tights.
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Last edited by Locutus of Bored; April 1 2012 at 11:45 PM.
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Old April 1 2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

I have to imagine it's the same principle behind bed sores or how people in wheelchairs sometimes get blood clots from sitting for too long. Unnatural pressure for long periods of time is bad for you.
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Old April 1 2012, 10:13 PM   #11
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

The technical answer is that something called maceration occurs.

Maceration is the disintegration of skin when in prolonged contact with water. This is a variant of the normal wrinkling/swelling/softening that happens to your fingertips if you've been swimming or in the bath for a long time, but spread over the whole body. Left long enough this destroys the integrity of the skin, causing it to fall apart at the slightest touch.

You will also get a chemical change in subcutaneous adipose tissue in any anaerobic environment (water is anaerobic enough for these purposes) that is akin to saponification: essentially, your fat turns to soap through hydrolysis. This takes longer than maceration, but will happen eventually.

Other bad things happen too, but I think that's enough for now...
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Old April 1 2012, 10:18 PM   #12
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

Soap is fucking weird.
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Old April 1 2012, 10:49 PM   #13
Holdfast
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Soap is fucking weird.
Try it, you might like it.
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Old April 2 2012, 12:05 AM   #14
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Soap is fucking weird.
I was wondering what the smell was.
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Old April 2 2012, 12:09 AM   #15
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Re: What happens to your skin if you stay in the H20 for weeks?

Holdfast wrote: View Post
The technical answer is that something called maceration occurs.

Maceration is the disintegration of skin when in prolonged contact with water. This is a variant of the normal wrinkling/swelling/softening that happens to your fingertips if you've been swimming or in the bath for a long time, but spread over the whole body. Left long enough this destroys the integrity of the skin, causing it to fall apart at the slightest touch.

You will also get a chemical change in subcutaneous adipose tissue in any anaerobic environment (water is anaerobic enough for these purposes) that is akin to saponification: essentially, your fat turns to soap through hydrolysis. This takes longer than maceration, but will happen eventually.

Other bad things happen too, but I think that's enough for now...
At least it'll make for a nice, clean corpse.
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