This ‘skin pinch test’ will tell you if you’re dehydrated - how it works and symptoms of dehydration

By Helen Johnson
Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 5:58 pm
Dehydration can cause numerous symptoms, including thirst, dizziness and a dry mouth, lips and eyes (Photo: Shutterstock)

Dehydration can cause numerous symptoms, including thirst, dizziness and a dry mouth, lips and eyes.

But there’s a simple test you can carry out to find out if you’re dehydrated.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The ‘skin pinch test’ - more formally known as the Turgor Test or - involves pinching the skin on your finger and seeing how long it takes to return to normal.

When you’re hydrated, your skin has elasticity and will snap back quickly, but when you’re dehydrated the skin takes a bit longer to go back to normal

This test was recently shared on TikTok by Dr. Karan Raj, who posted a video of it to his million of followers.

In the video, the narrator says: “Dehydration check to see how dehydrated you are you have to squeeze your fingertip right here and if it goes back down you’re hydrated.

‘If you squeeze it and it stays up like this you are dehydrated.”

Then Dr. Raj adds: “This is known as the skin pinch or skin turgor test. The more hydrated you are the more elastic your skin will be and it will bounce back immediately after pinching it.

“If you’re dehydrated the skin loses elasticity and it takes a while to return to normal and it’s more likely to tent up.”

Dr. Raj says that this test is a recognised technique to be able to quickly tell if you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.

What are the signs of dehydration?

According to the NHS, symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include:

  • feeling thirsty
  • dark yellow and strong-smelling pee
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • feeling tired
  • a dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • peeing little, and fewer than 4 times a day

Dehydration can happen more easily if you have:

  • diabetes
  • vomiting or diarrhoea
  • been in the sun too long (heatstroke)
  • drunk too much alcohol
  • sweated too much after exercising
  • a high temperature of 38C or more
  • been taking medicines that make you pee more (diuretics)

You should drink fluids when you feel any dehydration symptoms, explains the NHS.

If you find it hard to drink because you feel sick or have been sick, start with small sips and then gradually drink more.

You should drink enough during the day so your pee is a pale clear colour.

You should also drink water when there's a higher risk of dehydrating, for example, if you're vomiting, sweating or you have diarrhoea.