MadSci Network: Anatomy

Re: what happens to the body if regularly under water for several hours ?

Date: Sat May 19 20:40:06 2001
Posted By: Blinda Carnley, Staff, Medical Intensive Care Unit/RN,BSN, Good Shepherd Medical Center
Area of science: Anatomy
ID: 987021970.An

This may answer the question you asked. Assuming the body is alive 
and well on a normal day to day basis other wise normal skin can breakdown 
within three hours if it is moist and has pressure on it. 

Does Swimming Make Your Skin Dry and Itchy?
I love to swim, but the chlorine in the water makes my skin dry and 
itchy. What can I do?
First of all, you need to understand that the chlorine isn't what's 
causing your problem. Being immersed in water for long periods of time is 
what's making your skin feel uncomfortably dry. Chlorine may seem harsh, 
but the amount diluted in a swimming pool doesn't have much of an effect on 
skin.Water, though, removes the thin layer of surface oil on skin that 
normally locks in moisture. Without that protective layer, fluid in the skin and
surrounding cells evaporates rapidly, drying the skin. Lack of moisture also
causes tiny fissures to develop, allowing the skin to become irritated 
and itchy. Swimming can also take a toll on hair, but, again, chlorine isn't 
the culprit. Water is responsible for drying out the hair, and copper, 
which leaches out from pool pipes, is what can cause blond hair to turn 
green.There are several chlorine-removal soaps and gels on the market, 
but because chlorine isn't the problem, they aren't likely to work magic on your 
skin.(On the other hand, anti-chlorine shampoos with chelating agents 
will remove damaging copper from your hair.) You'll have better luck if you 
replace the lost layer of oil with a lubricating cream or lotion. Lotions, 
because they're thinner than creams, are easier to apply. But if your skin is
extremely dry, a cream will give you more protection. Whichever lubricant you
choose, the best time to apply it is after showering, when your skin is 
still slightly damp. In the winter, when dry air tends to worsen the 
problem, you may want to smooth on some cream or lotion several times 
throughout the day.
Norman Levine, MD, is a professor and the chief of dermatology at 
the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is the author of Skin Healthy, a
consumer's guide to skin care.

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