Water-immersion wrinkling is due to vasoconstriction
ABSTRACT The underlying mechanism of the water-immersion skin wrinkling test, which is used as a test of sympathetic nerve function, remains elusive. We investigated changes of blood circulation in the hand occurring with water-immersion wrinkling by measuring the velocity of ulnar and digital artery blood flow, and of digit skin blood flow, in healthy subjects before and during wrinkling. Wrinkling was accompanied by significant reduction in blood flow velocity in all vessels, with a maximum in digital vessels. Our data show that water-immersion wrinkling is a function of digit pulp vasoconstriction. This test of sympathetic function can now be quantified using parameters of blood flow velocity, enabling its more widespread and accurate use.
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ABSTRACT: Aquagenic wrinkling of the palms is an unusual and rare dermatosis characterized by rapidly appearing edema, whitish papules, and strong wrinkling of the palms after brief immersion in water. Aquagenic wrinkling of the palms is postulated to be a result of abnormal electrolyte fluxes that result in sodium retention within epidermal keratinocytes and osmotically induced cell volume increases. A clear understanding is lacking. It is closely linked to Cystic Fibrosis and has been proposed as a test of Cystic Fibrosis but can also be induced by Cyclooxygenase (COX-2) inhibitors and Aminoglycosides. Since both aquagenic wrinkling of the palms and water immersion wrinkling occur with water immersion, are restricted to the glabrous skin, and show features of sympathetic stimulation, I hypothesize that aquagenic wrinkling of the palms is part of the spectrum of water immersion wrinkling which has recently been shown to be due to sympathetic nervous system induced vasoconstriction of the palms and digits. Furthermore I hypothesize that both conditions are restricted to the glabrous palmar skin because of unique anatomical characteristics. Palmar skin is highly porous to water and contains abundant specialized vasculature densely innervated by sympathetic nerves and has unique epidermal anchoring for gripping purposes. I postulate that in conditions with sweat electrolyte disturbances such as Cystic Fibrosis or drug induced; the normal water immersion wrinkling response is exaggerated, leading to the typical clinical features of aquagenic wrinkling of the palms.Medical Hypotheses 09/2013; 81(5). DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2013.09.015 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human non-hairy (glabrous) skin of the fingers, palms and soles wrinkles after prolonged exposure to water. Wrinkling is a sympathetic nervous system-dependent process but little is known about the physiology and potential functions of water-induced skin wrinkling. Here we investigated the idea that wrinkling might improve handling of wet objects by measuring the performance of a large cohort of human subjects (n = 40) in a manual dexterity task. We also tested the idea that skin wrinkling has an impact on tactile acuity or vibrotactile sensation using two independent sensory tasks. We found that skin wrinkling did not improve dexterity in handling wet objects nor did it affect any aspect of touch sensitivity measured. Thus water-induced wrinkling appears to have no significant impact on tactile driven performance or dexterity in handling wet or dry objects.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e84949. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0084949 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Skin wrinkling upon water immersion has been used as an indicator of limb nerve function for more than 80years. Until recently, routine use of the test has been hampered by a poor understanding of the physiology and lack of standardization. The process underlying stimulated skin wrinkling has been recently identified as dependent on digital vasoconstriction mediated via sympathetic nerve fibers. Vasoconstriction is postulated to drive wrinkling through loss of digit volume, which induces a negative pressure in the digit pulp and exerts a downward pull on the overlying skin and ultimately results in wrinkles. Improved test standardization has been achieved through substituting water with EMLA for inducing skin wrinkling. This has made testing much easier and has helped implement stimulated skin wrinkling as a practical routine clinical bedside test. A literature search identified 10 studies of sufficient quality for evaluating stimulated skin wrinkling as a diagnostic test of sympathetic under or over function. Seven studies provide level 1 or 2 evidence as a diagnostic test of small fiber neuropathy and three provide level 1 or 2 evidence for cystic fibrosis. There is reasonable evidence allowing the test to be employed as a simple and effective marker for small fiber neuropathy and cystic fibrosis.Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2014.08.007 · 3.12 Impact Factor