Can you absorb water through your skin?

11 December 2019, 11:59

Water being poured on hands
Water being poured on hands. Picture: PA

Can you absorb water through your skin? If I'm dehydrated can I just sit in the bath or take a shower?

Mystery Hour Question

If you were really dehydrated, could you rehydrate yourself by submerging in water instead of drinking it?  
Erin, Edinburgh


Name: Dan, Oxshott
Qualification: Doctor
Answer: No. Because your skin is made of something called stratified squamous epithelium, which is impermeable, so water can’t make it through the layers of your skin to rehydrate you. The water will get into your cells, which is why they swell up if you sit in the bath, but it won’t go any further.