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Skin Absorption

  1. Jan 27, 2006 #1
    I heard and read that mercury and some of its compounds can get absorbed through the skin how could it do that ?

    Aren't our skins soposed to be waterproof ? I don't think that while washing our hands with water the water pases through the epidermis.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2006 #2
    Well actually, if you have ever gone swimming or have taken a long bath before, then you've probably noticed your fingers started to prune. I bilieve the pruning is caused by the absoption of water. Right? Because the water would flow into our cells because they have a lower conc of water than the surroundings.

    So i supose that if this is the case then mercury could probably do the same.
  4. Jan 29, 2006 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Chemicals are easily absorbed through the skin. That's why you see "patches" for nicotine and birth control.

    Here is a good site that discusses it.

  5. Jan 29, 2006 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    Lipid soluble compounds can fairly easily pass through the skin, as can very small molecules. Water soluble compounds don't have as easy of a time, because the cell membrane has the hydrophobic portion of the lipid bilayer facing "outward." They can still get in, but you'd have to soak for a much longer time. Actually, for anything passing through the skin, contact time is important.
  6. Jan 29, 2006 #5


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    Ah, so can I take my vitamins through my skin? Like wear patches that last a week?
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