Why Do Swimmers Get Wrinkled Fingers and Wrinkled Feet?

So why do our fingers and feet wrinkle?

Is it because water enters the skin and after a time the skin swells up thus causing the wrinkles?

Most people may think so but this is not the cause. Only our fingers and feet our affected despite our whole body being immersed in water, so why does it happen?

One thing is for sure, wrinkled fingers and feet have better grip, giving swimmers an advantage. The wrinkles make us about 12% better able to grip on wet surfaces and able to hold on more securely to wet objects, very useful when catching slippery wet fish by hand.

So how does it work?

Just as advanced modern cars have sensors in the windscreen to detect rain and automatically turn on the windscreen wipers, when your hands and feet have been in water for a long time your nervous system triggers a change in the size of your blood vessels in the areas to be wrinkled. Constricted blood vessels reduce the volume of fluid in your fingers and feet Pulling the skin into the wrinkle formation. An old English word; quobbled refers to this feature built in to all humans with a healthy nervous system.

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