Someone in Yahoo! Answers (gimmenamenow) came up with a good response to this, which is that hemotoxin attacks red blood cells and neurotoxin attacks nerve cells. Neither type of cell is present on top of the skin in a way that makes a significant difference. (This guy grew up around reptiles and works with alligators, so I’m kind of predisposed to listen to his experience.)
I’ll add though, that looking up “snake venom on skin” in Bing returns a slew of sites about snake venom and skin care, specifically anti-wrinkle cream. I think you’d have to be crazy to smear snake venom on yourself (what if you cut yourself with a kitchen knife, later? What if you touch a kid who’s skinned their knee?), but I’ll leave the matter in the hands of Leslie Baumann, M.D., specifically regarding the latest hype “Syn-ake”. (Take a look at her Yahoo! bio, she’s a best-selling expert.) http://health.yahoo.net/experts/skintype/snake-venom-skin-creams-don’t-get-bitten-hype
Venom affects blood and nerve cells, which are located far enough inside the body that they will be unaffected by venom that sits on top of the skin. Generally speaking, venom must be injected underneath the skin in order to cause harm. Venom is different from poison, which is a substance that is toxic if inhaled, swallowed, or touched.
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