Can Alcohol Be Absorbed Through The Feet ?

A Danish urban myth alleges that it is possible to get drunk by submerging one's feet in alcohol.  Three physicians at Hillerød Hospital in Denmark tested this hypothesis on themselves in their office.
The primary end point was the concentration of plasma ethanol... measured every 30 minutes for three hours while feet were submerged in a washing-up bowl containing the contents of three 700 mL bottles of vodka. The secondary outcome was self assessment of intoxication related symptoms (self confidence, urge to speak, and number of spontaneous hugs), scored on a scale of 0 to 10.

They concluded that their feet were impermeable to alcohol.


Addendum:  A hat tip to Gauldar for finding a use for the leftover vodka:  Sourtoe Cocktails.

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One of my cats had a rather rocky start in life. As a kitten, he and his littermates had the misfortune of being found by some bored neighborhood kids, who sprayed perfume on the kittens. This caused the mother cat to reject the kittens and start killing them. My sister-in-law rescued the last two and gave one of them to me to foster (but we ended up getting attached to him and keeping him).

We had him from about the age of one week. By the time he was six months old, he had manifested some odd personality quirks. He would suddenly begin crying and growling when he was previously calm and happy, and would hiss at us, though we could find no outside cause for his provocation. When we asked the vet about it, she said that it was possible that his fragile kitten skin could have absorbed the alcohol in the perfume and caused liver damage (he had some abnormal liver tests) and possibly brain damage. He's mostly healthy and happy, just a little "special" sometimes.

Moral of the story: Don't ever let ME catch your precious little bored kids torturing kittens for fun.
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Do they have experience getting drunk? Do they know what being drunk is like? Was there an independent observer or are we to trust the observations of people who would waste that much vodka trying to get their feet drunk?

Did it cure athlete's foot? What if it was done in a sauna? How about the use of accelerants like DMSO or olives?
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I guess I need to explain that the British Medical Journal uses its "Christmas issue" to present a different sort of fare from the typical hard science publications during the rest of the year. Articles like this one are intended to be lighthearted and are directed at people with a sense of humor...
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