Water immersion skin wrinkling has long been used as a test for sympathetic nerve function. However, the cause of underlying mechanism remained elusive. In this article, we theoretically investigate a possible cause of the phenomenon by taking into consideration various properties of sweating. The pressure exerted by the surface tension of sweat droplets counterbalances the secretory pressure of sweat glands at the pore. When a hand is immersed in water, sweat droplets easily merge with the water, causing the pressure to drop at the pore. Our calculations, using earlier measurements of secretory pressure, show that the water pressure at the sweat pore will be less than the secretory pressure of sweat glands when the hand is immersed at a shallow depth. The resulting pressure imbalance enables the sweat to flow freely into the water. We believe that there will be an initial vasodilation to feed the excess generation of sweat. Sweat flow continues as long as there is blood flow to the hand. To prevent excessive loss of sweat from the body and to maintain homeostasis, sympathetic nerves trigger vasoconstriction to reduce the blood flow to the hand. The overlying skin wrinkles due to loss of volume under the skin. It is possible that denerved fingers remain in the vasodilation state during immersion due to a lack of sympathetic nerve function.
Comments: 7 Pages.
Unique-IP document downloads: 486 times
Add your own feedback and questions here:
You are equally welcome to be positive or negative about any paper but please be polite. If you are being critical you must mention at least one specific error, otherwise your comment will be deleted as unhelpful.