The word waterlogged means to be filled or soaked with water. Many people assume that when our hands and feet become swollen and wrinkly after being submerged in water for long periods of time, it’s due to water passing through the epidermis. However, scientists have recently proven that being “waterlogged” is not the result of the skin absorbing water, but rather a spontaneous reflex caused by vasoconstriction (blood vessels contracting below the skin) that improves our grip on wet objects. Researchers believe that the wrinkling served the evolutionary function of allowing our ancestors to better balance and grip objects while searching for food in wet areas like streams and rivers.
To read more about how moisture affects our foot and hand skin, check out our article: Scientists Explain Why Our Skin Gets Pruney And Wrinkly In Water