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Can water or alcohol be absorbed through the skin with osmosis?

  1. May 3, 2004 #1
    Can water or alcohol be absorbed through the skin with osmosis? More importantly can it be absorbed into the bloodstream? I know some chemicals can be, what characteristics allow those chemicals to do that?

    Pan
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2004 #2
    • The unique capability of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to penetrate living tissues without causing significant damage is most probably related to its relatively polar nature, its capacity to accept hydrogen bonds, and its relatively small and compact structure. This combination of properties results in the ability of DMSO to associate with water, proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acid, ionic substances, and other constituents of living systems.
     
  4. May 4, 2004 #3

    Monique

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    I don't think that was his question, water doesn't penetrate our body very easily the skin isolates actually pretty well, otherwise you'd evaporate in a few hours. There is a skin condition in young born babies where they have abnormal skin, they dry out because of it and soon die.
    I think it is small hydrophobic molecules that are actually able to penetrate the skin, just think of all the creams that people smear on their face. But also polar molecules like methanol, I'm not sure why, I guess it's an organic solvent and thus is able to go through.
     
  5. May 4, 2004 #4
    He wrote:


    • absorbed into the bloodstream ... I know some chemicals can be, what characteristics allow those chemicals to do that?
     
  6. May 4, 2004 #5
    so, if you sat in a tub of vodka there is no way to get drunk. I was trying to tell a buddy this, but he was positive you could. I was under the impression that if our body allowed things to seap into our body and blood stream that easy, we would be in trouble.
     
  7. May 4, 2004 #6

    Monique

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    Oh wait, I misread.. you said DMSO, but I thought you said DHMO as in H2O.. ha, I wasn't quite awake yet at the time.. :rolleyes:
     
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