What do you die of when skinned alive?

My roommate and I got into a disgusting disgussion lately, based on Jonathon Swift’s “Modest Proposal.” Assuming you were healthy and in a clean (eese only wahfer-theen, messiur!) room, and someone removed your skin very carefully with a terribly sharp blade, what would you die of?

My companion believes that you’d die of infection, but I think that that would happen after several days, while all your lymph would leak out in the matter of hours.

Suppose - the skin is removed so exquisitely that no blood vessels besides capillaries are broken, and that these clot over almost immediately. You are no longer able to sweat, your tissues are exposed to the air, and you are in horrible pain. Can a man die from pain?

I imagine that you’d go into shock rather quickly and that would be what kills you.

More specifically hypovolemic shock, removing your skin would allow many body tissues to dry out VERY QUICKLY doing quite a bit of damage. Fluid loss from evaporation would quick and decisive. It would almost be like a major burn or road rash case, you would literally be oozing fluids all over trying to fix your “damaged” skin.


Why would you be unable to sweat? Are sweat glands entirely within the skin?

[sub]I can’t believe I’m posting in this thread…[/sub]

I’d guess dehydration as well.

You obviously would not hang on by the skin of your teeth, either!

Sorry, an Ed Gein moment.

And once you’d died, a million medical schools would descend on you to make detailed color plates …

and once they are done, the Clive Barker contingent would lovingly call you Fred.


I state that, being in that situation, I´d be grossed out to death.

It would not be pleasant. You’d probably be screaming for someone to cut your head off.

WAG: hypothermia? Skin’s a good thermal insulator, is it not?