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I accidently touched formaldehyde some days ago. Skin on my hand got dehydrated as if I had placed it in salt solution. I washed it with water and it returned to normal state after 5 minutes.

But now whenever I wash my hands with water my skin gets dehydrated again, but returns to normal state after some time . What's the reason behind it getting dehydrated again when exposed to water ? Will it return to normal state when new skin grows back ?

By dehydration, I mean something like this.

enter image description here

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1 Answer 1

cool pics!

Firstly, Formadahyde is a terribly toxic substance.

Skin Contact: CORROSIVE. Contact can cause pain, redness, burns, and blistering. Permanent scarring can result. Can be absorbed through the skin.

Formaldehyde causes organ failure and scarring if ingested.

In this case, since you don't have burning or blistering, it seems like a reasonably low exposure. You should nonetheless call your doctor to check in or drop by the campus infirmary or what have you.

A good experience to remind you to wear gloves when working with chemically active reagents or solvents (DMSO for instance!)

I'm not a doctor, but as a non professional and informal opinion, your finger will probably become normal again, eventually all the cells will do their best to repair themselves.

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Those rnt my fingers. The pic is on google :) why do my finger dehydrate after washing with water again ? –  biogirl Mar 26 at 16:35
    
You mean your fingers getting wrinkled after washing them (or keeping them in water for a longer time)? –  Chris Mar 26 at 16:51
    
not sure, but the docs do seem to indicate that your fingers would have chemical burns if you had had a more concentrated solution or longer contact, so a reaction that is not seen as often perhaps. –  shigeta Mar 26 at 18:34
    
@Chris After washing them. –  biogirl Mar 27 at 1:59
    
@biogirl, formaldehyde chemically denatures the proteins and some other biomolecules. The damage is not mainly because of dehydration (in case of $H_2SO_4$ it is the strong dehydrating effect that is one of the the primary reasons for the burn) –  WYSIWYG Mar 27 at 13:39
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