Eli5: why do some swollen areas on the body (toes, fingers etc) have a sort of sheen on them?



I finished a trail race on Saturday and might have sprained my toes as they are swollen. I’ve noticed this with other swelling on myself and others that it seems to have a shine to it, almost as if I just put lotion on the area. What is happening?

In: Other


Skin when “at rest” isn’t smooth but full of very small dips and crevices, which could be colloquially called “texture” as we witness it.

When something under our skin expands (swells up) it stretches the skin and as such we don’t see the “texture” of those small imperfections anymore, because there’s no place left for crevices and faults.