What Happens If You Stay in Water Too Long?


Answer: In water, the human body’s protective layer – skin – is penetrated.

If you are in the water for too long, water can penetrate your outer layer of skin. As a result, the skin on your wet hands will feel soft and jelly-like skin’s outer layer may become “waterlogged” and take on a slimy-feeling character.

But when you exit the pool or bath tub and start to dry out, that same area will typically become chapped as we see in an older person’s hands with age.

The immediate effect of staying in water too long includes hypothermia, which will result in heart-rate and body-temperature drops. Hair can also start to tangle as the salt and minerals removal naturally occurs.

In addition, a cell’s cytoplasm is continuously squeezed by the tightening muscles that line its external wall (the sarcolemma). If they become too tight, then this forces out a significant amount of intracellular fluid. As less intracellular fluid is inside the cell, there becomes more space between each organelle membrane as they no longer come into contact with one another; hence cells get “looser”. This squeezing out on erythrocytes that lose their stickiness leads to.

Therefore if you stay in water longer than necessary then eventually clumping of proteins onto keratinose (outermost layer) cells may take place which cause fingernails to stop growing at their tips.
The same thing happens when water sits on a person’s body for hours – it reaches a depth just below the surface.